Rural Doctors Society calls for government transparency on favipiravir supplies
The Rural Doctors Society has once again taken aim at the Public Health Ministry, demanding it come clean about Thailand’s supply of favipiravir. The antiviral medication is used to treat Covid-19 patients, but needs to be administered in the early stages of the illness. Posting on its Facebook page, the society claims hospitals are running out of the drug and is urging the ministry to be more transparent about supply issues so that medical facilities can plan better.
“What every hospital wants to know is how much it will get and for how long they will have to wait to get the next batch so that they can best manage stocks. Their challenge is that they don’t know when they will be allocated. They need to know to make the best out of it in times of shortage.”
According to a Bangkok Post report, this is the second time the RDS has complained about a shortage of favipiravir. In late February, the society stated on Facebook that the Covid-19 treatment was in short supply and several hospitals were being forced to limit its use to patients over the age of 80.
In its most recent Facebook post, the RDS says nothing has changed, despite the hospitals following the government’s guidelines, which stipulate that the drug should be administered to those over the age of 60 only. According to the society, in some parts of the country, the worst-hit hospitals are having to restrict distribution to those with pneumonia only. It goes on to state that as the drug needs to be administered within the first 2 days of infection, having adequate supplies is vital.
The RDS goes on to call on the Public Health Ministry to explain the shortages and to confirm if there’s any truth to rumours that the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation plans to stop producing the treatment and will only import it.
Health minister Anutin Charnvirakul has stated that both locally produced and imported supplies of favipiravir are being distributed around the country. Anutin says the government has also purchased other treatments, including remdesivir, molnupiravir, and nirmatrelvir and that these are administered based on a patient’s symptoms.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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