Molnupiravir available to OVP telemedicine patients under prescription
MANILA, Philippines — Molnupiravir, an anti-viral drug used in treating mild to moderate COVID-19, is now available to patients who are prescribed to take it through the Bayanihan E-Konsulta Program of the Office of the Vice President (OVP).
Vice President Leni Robredo announced this in a post on her personal Facebook account on Monday night, saying that she had signed a memorandum of agreement with QualiMed Health Network for assisting patients prescribed to take molnupiravir.
Robredo said that the OVP would issue a guarantee letter Bayanihan E-Konsulta, its telemedicine program, which reviews patients’ cases virtually.
Bayanihan E-Konsulta patients may get part of the first shipment of molnupiravir made in Southeast Asia, which arrived in the Philippines last Nov. 17.
“QualiMed facilities will then further assess and prescribe the medicine to the patient,” Robredo said.
MOLNUPIRAVIR is now available for our patients who may be prescribed to take them under our Bayanihan E-Konsulta…
“We are truly humbled and grateful to the QualiMed Health Network for trusting us with this partnership, helping us extend our reach in delivering aid to more of our kababayans in need. Maraming, maraming salamat po!” she added.
Over the previous weeks, several personalities have been pushing for the use of molnupiravir, which is seen to be a game-changer in handling COVID-19 cases as patients would no longer need to be hospitalized in the early stages of the infection.
Last Nov. 9, another presidential aspirant, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow the commercial sale of molnupiravir. In response, FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said that molnupiravir was already accessible under a compassionate special permit.
However, Domingo also assured that the FDA had been working to evaluate applications for molnupiravir’s emergency use authorization (EUA) and certificate of product registration (CPR).
Molnupiravir, a COVID-19 antiviral pill jointly developed by US-based Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, has provided a possible early-stage treatment for COVID-19 infections, which would in turn prevent severe cases and hospitalizations.
The United Kingdom was the first country to approve the use of the pill, which will be rolled out through a drug trial phase this November.
Currently, COVID-19 numbers in the country have improved, with infectious continuously decreasing, and hospitals being decongested after nearly being filled up again during the last surge from August to September.
However, there are fears that the good trend may be short-lived if people disregard health protocols. Over the past weekends, netizens on social media took notice of the busier roads and the higher number of children in public areas after the national government placed Metro Manila under Alert Level 2.
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