Covid-19 drugs may soon be available at private clinics

TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2022

The Public Health Ministry is considering allowing private clinics to order and sell the Covid-19 antiviral drug, Molnupiravir, as steps are underway to redesignate the disease as an endemic from a pandemic.

The ministry’s move would enable infected people to get treatment and the drug at any hospital or clinic.

Public Health permanent secretary Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit said on Monday that currently not all Covid-19 patients will need antiviral drugs, as those with no or mild symptoms can take Fah Talai Jone capsules until they are cured.

“The FDA [Food and Drugs Administration] approved antiviral drugs, namely Favipiravir, Molnupiravir and Paxlovid, will be given to patients in the yellow group, or those with moderate symptoms, at the physician’s discretion,” he said.

“Doctors will also decide whether the patient should receive a Remdesivir injection and long-acting antibody vaccine based on symptoms and health conditions. At present, these drugs must be prescribed by medical professionals only and are not available at general drug stores.”

Kiattiphum said the ministry aims to make treatment and drugs for Covid-19 available more widely after it is officially declared an endemic, therefore it is planning to allow private clinics to order Molnupiravir drugs and sell to patients, expanding the availability from the current system where the ministry directly supplies the drug to private hospitals.

“The ministry, through the Department of Health Service Support, is discussing with private hospitals, clinics and the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation the setting up of a suitable timeframe for this move, which should be announced soon,” he added.

Kiattiphum added that the ministry may further expand the availability of Molnupiravir at general drug stores in the future.