Korea orders Molnupiravir to treat COVID-19

On October 6, South Korean Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said that the country had reached an agreement to buy 20,000 courses of Molnupiravir tablets from Merck & Co. formulated to treat COVID-19 patients.

Molnupiravir is manufactured by the US company Merck & Co. Photo: News Emory
Molnupiravir is manufactured by the US company Merck & Co. Photo: News Emory

According to the Korean Prime Minister, the country has enough budget to treat about 40,000 people and has signed a contract to pre-order 20,000 courses of Molnupiravir. South Korea is also looking to buy other antiviral drugs. The Korean government plans to spend 36.2 billion won ($30.31 million) in the budget to buy antiviral drugs to treat COVID-19 by mouth.

On the same day, October 6, Merck & Co announced that it had signed an agreement with Singapore to supply the drug Molnupiravir, after Australia. Meanwhile, Thailand, Taiwan (China) and Malaysia said they were negotiating to buy this drug. Merck & Co said it plans to set prices that match the income level of each country.

Currently, the US Government has ordered 1.7 million courses at a price of 700 USD for a course of treatment for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, in Germany, Health Minister Jens Spahn said the country would discuss whether to buy large quantities of the drug Molnupiravir. Speaking at the press conference, Minister Spahn emphasized that Germany always ensures access to effective COVID-19 treatments.

Molnupiravir is jointly researched and developed by the US pharmaceutical company Merck & Co and the German company Ridgeback. This is an oral antiviral drug that was developed to treat influenza. Countries and territories have increased their orders for Molnupiravir after a representative of Merck & Co on October 1 announced the results of a phase 3 trial with 775 patients, according to which the drug worked to reduce the risk of nearly 50% chances of COVID-19 patients being hospitalized and dying.

In addition, the drug is also effective against variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus such as Gamma, Delta and Mu. Currently, Merck & Co and its partners are filing an application with the US Food and Drug Administration for an emergency use authorization for this drug, and it is likely that Molnupiravir will be the first antiviral pill to be approved. used to treat COVID-19 patients. Merck aims to produce 10 million courses of molnupiravir by the end of this year.

Google Tech News

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