Colombo, Nov 7 (News 1st); The State Ministry of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals has focused its attention on the use of ‘Molnupiravir’ in Sri Lanka, against COVID-19.
Molnupiravir, developed by the US drug companies Merck, Sharp and Dohme (MSD) and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, is the first antiviral medication for Covid which can be taken as a pill rather than injected or given intravenously.
The first pill designed to treat symptomatic Covid has been approved by the UK medicines regulator.
Experts have said that if widely authorized, the medicine could have huge potential to help fight the pandemic: Pills are easier to take, manufacture and store, making them particularly useful in lower- to middle-income countries with weaker infrastructure and limited vaccine supplies.
The UK has agreed to purchase 480,000 courses with the first deliveries expected in November.
The United States has made an advance purchase of 1.7 million courses of Molnupiravir at a cost of about $1.2 billion, or roughly $700 per treatment course. Other countries have also reached agreements with Merck to buy the pills, including Australia, Singapore and South Korea.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Health Ministry said in a statement that it had requested the COVID-19 expert committee to inquire into the drug and provide recommendations in the near future.