No shortage of Favipiravir anti-viral pills: Thai health minister

Some doctors claim that the current stock of the drug should be enough as only 25 per cent of Covid-19 patients need an anti-viral like Favipiravir.

The Nation

The Nation



March 29, 2022

BANGKOK – Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) can make this drug because it has precursor chemicals. Plus, he said, GPO is also importing the drug.

Anutin said permanent secretary Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit had told him that the ministry was managing the supply of Favipiravir well and there should be enough for patients.

He added that though some critics believe Favipiravir is inefficient in treating Covid-19 patients, the ministry has been using it as the main medicine for combating the virus.

Anutin went on to say that the Medical Services Department is also importing other drugs like Molnupiravir, Remdesivir and Paxlovid to treat patients.

The World Health Organisation recently announced that the anti-viral Molnupiravir is more effective in treating Covid-19 patients who are at high risk of developing severe symptoms.

“I confirm that the drug [Favipiravir] is being distributed to all patients and claims that we have been stockpiling the drug are untrue,” Anutin said.

He added that all provincial hospitals have been given enough Favipiravir pills to tend to local patients.

Meanwhile, Disease Control Department director-general Dr Opas Karnkawinpong said only 25 per cent of Covid-19 patients need an anti-viral like Favipiravir, so the supplies should be enough. He added that if any of the state-run hospitals across the country are in short supply they can contact the provincial chief public health officer for a top-up.

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