Molnupiravir available to OVP telemedicine patients under prescription | Inquirer News
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Molnupiravir available to OVP telemedicine patients under prescription

/ 01:17 AM November 23, 2021
merck covid pill

An experimental COVID-19 treatment pill, called molnupiravir and being developed by Merck & Co Inc and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP, is seen in this undated handout photo released by Merck & Co Inc and obtained by Reuters on Oct. 26, 2021. (Merck & Co Inc/Handout via REUTERS)

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.

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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.

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“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…

Posted by Leni Gerona Robredo on Monday, November 22, 2021

“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.

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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).

READ: Lacson urges FDA to allow commercial sale, use of anti-COVID pill

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.

READ: UK to roll out COVID-19 antiviral drug trial this month–Health Security Agency 

READ: Britain approves Merck’s COVID-19 pill in world first 

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.

READ: Complacency under alert level 2 worries DOH 

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TAGS: #2022candidates, 2022 elections, Bayanihan E-Konsulta, Bayanihan E-Konsulta Program, COVID-19 cases, covid-19 pill, FDA, Food and Drug Administration, Leni Robredo, molnupiravir, Office of the Vice President, QualiMed Health Network, telemedicine
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