With the announcement by Merck’s experimental Covid-19 anti viral pill that is designed for treating patients who have been infected with the virus, Malaysia has indicated that talks are underway to procure these pills.
The pill molnupiravir is the first oral medicine for the disease, current treatment includes remdevisir and genetic steroid dexamethosone both infused antiviral given after the patient is hospitalised. Merck & Co has already applied for authorisation from the US Federal Drug Administration for emergency use.
Upon news on the breakthrough, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin in a tweet said “As we transition to living with Covid, we will be adding new innovative treatment options to our arsenal in addition to vaccines. I have already started negotiating for Malaysia to procure these effective drugs that have gone though clinical trials” refering to Reuters news on the pills.
The game changer pills could possibly cut risks of death, hospitalisation by 50% according to preliminary studies, experts are hailing the drug as a critical addition to fighting the virus and keeping people safe.
Interim test of 775 patients in Mercks study looked at deaths and hospitalisation for people with severe disease. It found that 7.3% of those given molnupiravir twice a day for 5 days were hospitalised but none had died after 29 days of treatment.
Malaysia has been quick in responding even with vaccines, what got the country into 90% immunisation levels is because of the early procurement of vaccines. Now if the pills do get FDA approval, Malaysia could see shipments arriving and this would be another addition to fight the deadly virus.