The Philippines will receive 300,000 courses of Merck & Co’s COVID-19 antiviral drug molnupiravir next month, licensed importers and distributors said on Wednesday, as reported by the National Post.
Singapore and Malaysia have also signed deals to buy the drug, while Indonesia is finalizing a purchase agreement, among a slew of orders after data from interim clinical trials showed the pills could halve the likelihood of hospitalization or death for patients at risk of severe COVID-19.
Monaliza Salian, president of MedEthix, a Philippine healthcare products importer, said the company will import 300,000 courses of molnupiravir for COVID-19 patients in four hospitals.
Each pill is estimated to cost 100 to 150 pesos ($1.97 to $2.96), according to Meneleo Hernandez, president of JackPharma, which will distribute the drug locally.
The Philippines has approved the "compassionate use" of molnupiravir for 31 hospitals, FDA Chief Rolando Enrique Domingo said on Wednesday.
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