Thailand signs procurement deal for 50,000 courses of Molnupiravir Covid pill
Thailand has signed a 500 million baht deal to purchase 50,000 treatment courses of the new Covid-19 drug, Molnupiravir. According to a Thai PBS World report, the Medical Services Department signed the deal yesterday, with Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul present to witness it. A course of treatment is made up of 40 x 200mg capsules. A patient will need to take 4 capsules twice a day, 12 hours apart, for 5 days in a row.
The new treatment from pharmaceutical giant Merck has shown promising results in trials and Anutin says it will be given to Covid-19 patients with moderate to severe symptoms, as well as patients considered high-risk. Dr. Somsak Akksilp from the Medical Services Department says the manufacturers have applied for emergency use approval from both the US Food and Drug Administration and the Thai FDA.
Molnupiravir works by interacting with the genetic code of Covid-19, introducing errors that hinder the effects of the virus. Thai PBS World reports that it first came about when research at Emory University in the US found that a molecule known as NHC/EIDD-2801 had potency against various coronaviruses. The molecule was subsequently licenced to biotechnology firm Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, who partnered with Merck to develop the drug.
Subsequent trials showed that it could halve the risk of hospitalisation with Covid-19. Earlier this month, the UK became the first country in the world to approve the drug, with the US FDA expected to follow suit next month.
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SOURCE: Thai PBS World
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