Govt reviewing purchase of antivirals following development of new drugs to treat Covid-19, Dewan Rakyat told


KUALA LUMPUR: The authorities will overview the procurement of antivirals to treat Covid-19 sufferers following the emergence of new drugs for this function, says Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali.

He stated the overview was in mild of latest bulletins by producers Pfizer and AstraZeneca that they’d succeeded in producing Covid-19 antiviral drugs.

“In line with this, the Health Ministry will overview the purchase of antiviral drugs to adapt to its wants.

“This might be performed in accordance to the supply of the RM172mil allocation permitted to purchase Covid-19 medication,” he stated in reply to Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (PH-Kuala Selangor) within the Dewan Rakyat on Monday (Dec 6).

He clarified that the choice to procure 150,000 programs of Molnupiravir from Merck Sharp & Dohme in early October was made as a result of it was the one oral Covid-19 antiviral drug at the moment.

In November, Pfizer utilized for emergency authorisation of the use of its antiviral Paxlovid within the United States after information confirmed that it was 89% efficient at stopping Covid-19 hospitalisations and deaths.

In October, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) stated it had began evaluating AstraZeneca’s anti-Covid cocktail known as Evusheld, stated to considerably cut back extreme Covid-19 circumstances or loss of life in non-hospitalised sufferers with gentle to average signs.

On Oct 7, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin introduced an settlement to purchase Molnupiravir from Merck Sharp & Dohme.

This choice, he stated, was in preparation for Malaysia’s transfer into the endemic section and dwelling with the Covid-19 virus.

Research performed by Merck confirmed that Molnupiravir is ready to cut back 50% of hospital admissions and is efficient in opposition to extra infectious variants of Covid-19 together with Gamma, Delta and Mu.

The antiviral capsule might be given free of cost to Covid-19 sufferers who’re symptomatic for at the very least 5 days or sufferers in classes three, 4 and 5.

On a separate concern, Dr Noor Azmi stated the ministry is on the ultimate stage of the tender course of to procure 460 ambulances and associated tools to deal with ambulance shortages in sure areas of the nation.

He stated the ambulances can be deployed to these areas in phases.

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