HCM CITY — The HCM City Department of Health plans to invite bids to supply 20,000 doses of antiretroviral drug molnupiravir for treating COVID-19 amid a resurgence in the pandemic.
It said this is meant to ensure prompt access to the drug by patients to reduce the number of severe cases and deaths, thus easing the pressure on the healthcare system.
The drugs would be distributed to health stations for providing free of charge to patients being treated at home under the department’s guidance.
Demand for the drug has surged due to the burgeoning caseload while supply from the Ministry of Health is running out.
The drug is used to treat adult patients with mild to moderate symptoms and at least one underlying risk factor.
As of March 15 more than 106,000 patients were being treated at home in the city.
Molnupiravir is now available in pharmacies across the country. It is a prescription drug.
The recommended dosage is 800mg every 12 hours for five days, and the drug should be taken as soon as possible after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and within five days of symptoms appearing.
But since it is a new drug, it is necessary to monitor its quality, effectiveness and safety.
The Drug Administration of Việt Nam last month granted certificates of registration for conditional use to three locally made molnupiravir brands for providing patients at home free of charge.
It has been licensed for conditional circulation by the Ministry of Health for the next three years and is under strict control.
Though the number of infections is increasing, most patients have mild to moderate symptoms and so are treated at home, but the huge number of cases means medical workers are overwhelmed and unable to prescribe for all patients.
Meanwhile, the department has notified that when a COVID patient makes a declaration online at https://khaibaoof0.tphcm.gov.vn, an SMS message would be sent to local health stations to inform them.
This will help the health stations closely monitor patients, especially high-risk groups, and promptly advise and provide drugs and ensure timely hospitalisation if needed. — VnExpress News
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