Widespread Access to Merck’s Molnupiravir in Philippines Even Though Drug Isn’t Authorized on Emergency Basis nor Approved

While a Phase 3 clinical trial investigating Merck’s molnupiravir in the Philippines seeks patients this isn’t a surprise given the imminent accessibility the drug now has to the local patient market. Currently allowed for compassionate use at several Philippines hospitals, a telehealth program sponsored by the Office of the Vice President also makes the drug available on a compassionate use basis.  Specifically molnupiravir is now available via the Bayanihan E-Konsulta Program sponsored by Vice President Leni Robredo. Meanwhile the City of Manilla, the Philippines largest city, just acquired 40,000—first batch delivered to Santa Ana Hospital. 

While SARS-CoV-2 cases have plummeted in the Philippines, deaths due to the coronavirus still are of concern.  The apex of the delta variant-driven spoke occurred in September as nearly 30,000 new infections in one day were reported.  However, as in much of Asia, cases have dramatically fallen to what in the Philippines was just 840 cases on Nov 24th—a low number given the nation’s population of nearly 110 million people.  However daily deaths are still too high at 224 per day based on the seven-da...

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