The Thai government has established communications with US drugmaker Merck & Co. in regard to the procurement of molnupiravir, an oral antiviral drug for COVID-19.
Director-General of the Department of Medical Services (DMS) Somsak Akksilp said Thailand is currently working on a purchase agreement for the drug which is designed to introduce errors into the genetic code of the virus, and would be the first oral antiviral medication for COVID-19.
Interim clinical trials have indicated it has the potential to cut both hospitalizations and deaths in half.
He expects that 200,000 courses of the COVID19 pills could arrive as soon as December, though the deal would be subject to the pills’ approval by both the United States Food and Drug Administration and Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration.
The US company expects to produce 10 million courses of treatment by the end of 2021 and has agreed a deal with the US government to supply 1.7 million courses at a price of $700 (about 23,600 baht) per course.
However, officials said pricing criteria will be different from country to country. (NNT)