Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 27) – Hundreds of thousands of molnupiravir antiviral pills will arrive in the country in November.
In a briefing Wednesday, MedEthix – the first local importer to obtain a Special Compassionate Permit (CSP) on behalf of the first four beneficiaries of molnupiravir – said there would be enough doses for 300,000 patients arriving next month.
“This is the first shipment that arrives by November. And on the availability or the volume that we have … from our supplier, that will cover about 300,000 patients. This is the volume that we have ordered,” a declared MedEthix co. -founder Monaliza Salian.
These will be imported under a CSP requested by four hospitals from the Food and Drug Administration last September.
The drug should cost around 100-150 per piece. A five-day treatment would represent approximately 40 capsules.
READ: Four hospitals get special permit for molnupiravir to treat COVID-19 patients
Earlier, MSD – the developer of molnupiravir – said clinical trials in the Philippines and other countries ended after the initial study showed “amazing results.” Locally, the drug has been tested on 27 unvaccinated outpatients at two hospitals: the Lung Center of the Philippines and the Quirino Memorial Medical Center.
The FDA said 31 hospitals and five drug companies had obtained a PSC to use and import molnupiravir. A drug subject to a special permit has not undergone rigorous FDA scrutiny, and the doctor or hospital that requested a PSC is responsible for patient safety.
Since molnupiravir must be taken at the onset of COVID-19 infection, the FDA will allow hospitals to stock up according to the cap set in their special permits.
Carolyn Bonquin of CNN Philippines contributed to this report.