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Procure Covid-19 meds, gov’t urged

The American pharmaceutical company said that paxlovid is 80 percent effective in reducing Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths

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A molecular biologist on Sunday wanted the government to secure at least two anti-Covid-19 drugs that can be used to treat all types of variants, including the newly detected Omicron.

In a radio interview, Fr. Nicanor Austriaco said the government must acquire drugs molnupiravir and paxlovid, which were developed by Merck & Co’s (MSD) and Pfizer, respectively.

“We have drugs now from Merck and Pfizer and these drugs will attack all the variants equally well. The Philippines has to try to buy these drugs,” Austriaco said.

He noted that these drugs can be used by people who had contracted the virus to avoid hospitalization among the most vulnerable populations such as senior citizens and people with comorbidities.

“It works with every variant. Molnupiravir has just been released in the US. Hopefully, the Philippines will have these drugs soon,” he said.

“I know that the Merck drug (molnupiravir) is already available in the Philippines. The Pfizer drug called paxlovid is going to be public soon. Once it becomes public, it would change the way we handle the pandemic,” he added.

Earlier this week, the advisory committee of the United States — Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has recommended the authorization of the oral drug molnupiravir to treat mild to moderate Covid-19 patients.

At present, select hospitals and health facilities granted with compassionate special permit by the country’s FDA can only use molnupiravir to their patients.

These hospitals include QualiMed facilities like those in San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan and the Philippine General Hospital in Manila.

Earlier, the MSD announced its partnership in-licensing deals with Indian pharma manufacturers to supply molnupiravir to low and middle-income countries, including the Philippines.

The drug will come in a 200mg capsule with a recommended regimen of 800mg to be taken twice daily for five days or as prescribed by a physician. It comes in a bottle of 40 capsules, which is the entire dose.

Meanwhile, Pfizer announced that it has already applied for emergency use authorization to the US-FDA on 16 November.

The American pharmaceutical company said that paxlovid is 80 percent effective in reducing Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths.

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