Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health is preparing to import Molnupiravir, which researchers say is the first oral drug to quickly block the COVID-19 virus.
Department of Medical Services (DMS) Director General Dr Somsak Ankasil said health officials would give approval to import Molnupiravir if phase 3 trials conducted by its developers, Merck and Ridgeback Therapeutics, were successful. Molnupiravir is among several anti-coronavirus drugs undergoing Phase 2 and 3 overseas trials, with results expected at the end of this month, in October and November.
If the medicine is successful, it will be used instead of favipiravir. Both drugs have the same mechanism of action, which is to prevent the virus from entering cells. Patients with mild symptoms will be given 40 tablets of Molnupiravir to be taken over five days.
Dr Somsak said the Department of Public Health is currently in talks with Merck to procure Molnupiravir and with Pfizer to import its protease inhibitor. If both drugs are registered after late stage trials, Thailand will rush to use them against future outbreaks. (NNT)