The Philippine Food and Drug Administration has given an Emergency Use
Authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 treatment pill Molnupiravir (under the brand name
Molnarz), paving the way for its supply to healthcare facilities and medical workers
through the Department of Health (DOH) and under the guidance of National Task
Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) for the treatment of mild to moderate cases of adults
aged 18 and older.
This was announced by Faberco Life Sciences Inc. (Faberco), the local pharmaceutical firm that applied for the EUA.
“This development is another big step in the country’s still ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and will provide Filipinos more options for treatment ,” said Faberco’s Chairman of the Board, Vinay Panemanglor.
He noted that the FDA said that “it is very reasonable to believe that the drug may be effective to prevent and treat COVID-19.”
Molnupiravir was developed by Merck & Co. It is likely to be effective against all known coronavirus variants as it does not target the spike protein of the virus that differentiates the variants.
It is the first oral antiviral drug that will prevent mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 from progressing into severe disease that needs hospitalization.
Faberco started distributing the drug to several private hospitals in the country in November through its partner RiteMED under the Compassionate Special Permit it received from the FDA.
The FDA noted that Molnupiravir (Molnarz) should be given 2x a day for five days and should be given immediately after diagnosis with COVID-19. It should not be given to pregnant women or those with a possibility of getting pregnant.