Doctor laments Thailand’s slow adoption of more effective Molnupiravir
Many countries have replaced Favipiravir with the far more effective anti-viral Molnupiravir in the treatment of Covid-19 patients, Dr Manoon Leechawengwongs, a respiratory specialist from Vichaiyut Hospital, pointed out in a Facebook post on Saturday.
He added that even Cambodia has started using Molnupiravir.
“A 42-year-old male patient told me that he had himself treated for Covid-19 at a Cambodian hospital in February,” he said. “The doctor there gave him Molnupiravir, which had been imported from India. He paid about 1,500 baht for a course of 40 capsules. His symptoms improved in five days after taking a dose of four pills every morning and evening.
“A 40-tablet course of India-made Molnupiravir retails at 2,000 rupees or about 900 baht,” he added. “People have been able to buy this drug over the counter in Cambodia since early this year.
“Clearly our neighbour has surpassed us in sourcing Covid-19 drugs,” Manoon said.
In a Facebook post last week, Manoon cited the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s recommendation that doctors use Molnupiravir to treat Covid-19 instead of Favipiravir.
In his March 15 post, the specialist said WHO recommends that Molnupiravir be used on patients who have been infected for less than five days. This drug has proved to be effective on patients who have mild symptoms but are at risk of developing severe symptoms and even dying from the virus.
“A batch of Molnupiravir has arrived in Thailand and will be distributed to hospitals next week,” he said. “Since supplies are limited, it will only be prescribed to high-risk patients such as the unvaccinated, the elderly, people with chronic diseases and those with low immunity.”