Following the positive results for the clinical trial for Merck & Co’s experimental antiviral COVID-19 pill, the Health Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin said that the government will be purchasing these pills that is said to be able to help country to handle the Covid-19 pandemic more effectively.
In fact, Khairy Jamaluddin said that the government is already negotiating with Merck & Co to procude these pills.
The pills were manufactured by the US-based Merck & Co and it uses molnupiravir, which is designed to introduce errors into the genetic code of the virus, according to a Reuters report.
The study conducted also found that the pills is able to reduce deaths and hospitalisation rates by 50%.
Khairy Jamaluddin took the announcement to Twitter yesterday (2 October).
“As we transition to living with Covid we will be adding new, innovative treatment options to our arsenal in addition to vaccines.”
“I have already started negotiating for Malaysia to procure these effective drugs that have gone through clinical trials.” he said.
Meanwhile, it was reported that Merck and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics is planning to seek US authorisation for emergency use of the pill as soon as possible and to make regulatory applications worldwide.
A senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Amesh Adalja also commented that the pills are an oral antiviral that can impact hospitalisation risk to such a degree would be “game-changing”.
While the nation move towards living with Covid-19 and expects the disease to be endemic, Khairy said that the Ministry is shifting away from the initial target of achieving herd immunity.
As of Friday (1 October), there were a total of 20,317,843 individuals or 86.8% of the adult population in Malaysia have completed their Covid-19 vaccination. The nation is only 3.2% away from the 90% target for adult vaccination before interstate travel is allowed nationwide.
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