18 October 2021

Covid-19 treatment Sri Lanka explores possibility of using Merck’s oral antiviral pill.

Sri Lanka is exploring the possibility of using the oral antiviral pill developed by the pharmaceutical giant ‘Merck’ for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, Daily Mirror learns.  Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N) which developed the pill has already applied for U.S. emergency use authorisation to treat mild-to-moderate patients of COVID-19. It is the first oral antiviral medication for Covid-19 patients.   

State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulations of Pharmaceuticals Prof. Channa Jayasumana requested Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardane in writing on October 11 to submit to him the opinion of the experts’ panel on the use of this pill in the treatment of Covid-19 patients.   

The treatment which is called Molnupiravir reduces the risk of hospitalisation and death by half.  Already, several countries such as Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore scramble to strike a supply deal with Merck.  

Prof. Jayasumana also mentioned in his letter that the pill is prescribed in several countries at the moment. According to foreign media, Merck plans to double manufacturing capacity since there is a surging demand for its product. 

Source: www.dailymirror.lk

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