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in-focus

Medical department receives 2 million capsules of drug that can fight Covid


The Medical Services Department on Friday received 2 million capsules of Molnupiravir drug from a subsidiary of pharmaceutical company Merck.

The total quantity can provide 50,000 courses of Covid-19 treatment.

The MSD Thailand Co Ltd represented Merck & Co Inc to deliver the drug to Dr Somsak Akkasilp, director-general of the Medical Services Department.

Somas said the oral Covid-19 drug will be used to provide treatment to Covid-19 patients with mild or moderate symptoms and they will be used for risk groups, such as the elderly and people with seven types of comorbidities.

“We’re glad that we received 2 million capsules of Molnupiravir, equivalent to 50,000 treatment courses, from MSD Thailand today,” Somsak said at a ceremony to receive the drug.

He said his department had negotiated and signed a contract with MSD Thailand to buy the drug in November after a previous briefing about the progress of the clinical trial of the medicine.

“At first, we will use the drug for groups of people who are at least 60 years old or who have seven comorbidities. But we may consider administering the drug to people who are at least 18 years old in the future when we have enough of it,” Somsak added.

He said his department would draft guidelines for distribution and administering of the drug in detail before sending it to hospitals next week.

Dr Mary Srethapakdi, managing director of MSD Thailand, said her company was very glad to deliver the drug to the Medical Services Department.

She said her parent company has been working hard against time to research and make the drug that can fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

“We would like to thank the Medical Services Department and medical specialists of several branches for exchanging medical information on Covid-19 patient treatments and on medicine for treating the patients,” Mary said.

“We are proud that we have become a part of helping Thais fight Covid-19 for taking part in the preparations for Thailand to exit pandemic status and enter endemic status.”

The Medical Services Department has assigned the Zuellig Pharma Co Ltd to manage the distribution of the 2 million capsules of the drug in accordance with the policy of the department.

Each patient will be given four capsules of Molnupiravir two times a day for five consecutive days to get the full course of 40 capsules.

The medicine can prevent infected persons from developing serious conditions or prevent their hospitalisation if they receive the drug within five days after they have the first symptom or after they test positive.

Published : March 18, 2022

By : THE NATION