SUNDAY, March 03, 2024

Expert explains differences between two Covid-19 magic pills

Expert explains differences between two Covid-19 magic pills

The Public Health Ministry on Monday explained the differences between Merck’s Molnupiravir and Pfizer’s Paxilovid pills, both of which help reduce severe symptoms and death from Covid-19. The aim is to make these drugs widely available in Thailand by early next year.

Dr Atthasit Srisubat, a consultant with the ministry’s Medical Department, said both drugs work on reducing the viral load in the body, though Paxilovid has to be used in combination with another antiviral drug, Ritonavir, for maximum efficiency.

Here are some details about both Covid-19 drugs:


  • Taken orally to treat influenza symptoms
  • Has proved to be effective against many types of coronavirus
  • Research shows that the drug reduces the risk of hospitalisation by 50 per cent and death by 100 per cent
  • Dosage is four 200mg Molnupiravir tabs taken twice a day for five days



  • Pfizer has announced that the drug taken together with Ritonavir is up to 89 per cent effective in reducing the risk of hospital admission and death
  • To be taken orally twice a day for five days
  • Paxilovid inhibits the action of protease enzyme and blocks the creation of protein

“The ministry is set to propose the purchase of Molnupiravir at this week’s Cabinet meeting and will meet Pfizer representatives on Friday to discuss the purchase of Paxilovid. Both drugs should be registered and be available by December or January,” Dr Atthasit said.

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