PH will work to ‘have better access’ to antiviral pill vs COVID-19 – DOH exec
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government will make efforts to “have better access” to the antiviral pill that was developed by US drugmaker Merck against COVID-19 in accordance with regulatory processes, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Monday.
“Siyempre…’pag may mga ganitong mga bagong produkto or investigational products, tayo naman po ay nakikipag-negotiate and we try to have that kind of position where we can access this kind of drugs,” Vergeire said in an online press briefing.
(Of course, when we have these new products and investigational products, we negotiate and we try to have that kind of position where we can access this kind of drugs.)
The DOH official was replying to a query on whether the government plans to engage in talks to purchase Merck’s experimental antiviral pill to fight the new coronavirus disease. The pill was said to reduce by half deaths and hospitalizations of people most at risk of contracting severe COVID-19.
“Siyempre may mga (There are) regulatory processes ‘yan, pero (but) definitely, if this is a game-changer and is really going to be of benefit to the population, our country, the national government will try to position to have better access to this drug,” Vergeire said.
According to her, the country has already carried out the clinical trial for oral medication for the treatment of COVID-19.
“Meron na tayong trial na ginagawa ukol dito sa gamot na ito dito sa Lung Center of the Philippines. So makikita rin natin na we can have more access to these medicine because we have this clinical trial counterpart,” Vergeire said.
(We are already conducting trials for this at the Lung Center of the Philippines. So we can see that we can have more access to these medicines because we have this clinical trial counterpart.)
Phase 3 of the clinical trial started in August this year.
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