Monday, September 28, 2020

GPO develops Favipiravir to treat Covid-19

May 12. 2020
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By The Nation

The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) developed its version of Favipiravir – one of the drugs used to effectively treat Covid-19 – in mid-March but is expected to take approximately a year before submitting this medicine for registration, said Nuntakan Suwanpidokkul, the director of the GPO’s Research and Development Institute.

The GPO has a management plan to build a sufficient stock of Favipiravir pills to support the sustainable treatment of patients in the country.

According to some forecasts, the Covid-19 pandemic will continue for a period of 1-2 years.

FujiFilm Toyama Chemical in Japan submitted an application for production of Favipiravir tablets in Thailand in 2010, but it remains only a patent application.

If Favipiravir is granted a patent, it will have a protection period of 20 years. However, a domestic formula can be developed without being hit by any lawsuit. Still, if it is produced for the market, it could be sued for patent infringement. Therefore, a voluntary licensing agreement must be negotiated with the patent owner so the GPO can produce and distribute its drug.

Pharmaviravir drugs have been urgently imported from FujiFilm Toyama Chemical and China's Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Company, which received a production licence from Japan.

Thailand has imported 187,000 of the tablets and is purchasing another 303,860 in May. The medicines are being distributed to hospitals nationwide.

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