An oral antiviral medicine Merck drug Molnupiravir for the treatment of mild to moderate Covid-19 is likely to be approved for Emergency Use Authorisation within a couple of days, told Chairman of Covid Strategy Group, CSIr, Ram Vishwakarma to media. This medicine is mainly for the adults who are at risk of severe Covid-19 or hospitalization. Another such medicine of Pfizer, Paxlovid will take some more time to be authorised.
The chairman said that the two durgs will make a difference and “as we move from pandemic to endemic, these are the ones which are going to be more important than vaccination”.
He called the drugs the “final nail in the coffin of the virus by science”, adding “I think Molnupiravir will be already available to us. Five companies are sitting with the drug manufacturer… I think any day we will have approval of Molnupiravir”.
On the other hand Pfizer also after its clinical trial claujs that the Paxloid cuts the chances of hospitalization and death risk by 89% in adults.
Merck has been already contracting with five companies “and the way Merck has given this license to several companies, Pfizer will also do because Pfizer will have to utilise the Indian capacity to manufacture the drugs that are required for the global use”.
Dr Ram told that the cost for Merck vaccine will be lower than 700 dollars which is being considered in US as in America it is costly for other reasons and not due to manufacturing cost.
“I think here when the government of India comes into play, they will buy in bulk from these companies and of course, they will have a dual pricing system and a staggered pricing system,” he told.
He also said that initial cost may start with “2000 to 3000 or 4000 rupees per cycle of treatment, then it will come down to 500 to 600 or 1,000 rupees”.