The city government of Manila announced on Tuesday, Oct 26, that it has already ordered 40,000 capsules of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) antiviral drug, Molnupiravir.
In an interview with DZMM Teleradyo, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said the city’s decision to place advance orders for Molnupiravir was based on the information provided by his running mate Dr. Willie Ong.
Ong had earlier urged the government to place advance orders for Molnupiravir as he believes that it is “beneficial” and “life-saving” to the public.
The Manila Mayor also appealed anew to the government to prioritize the procurement of life-saving drugs such as Remdesivir and Tocilizumab instead of investing on face shields.
“So, kung ito yung mga bagay na makabubuhay sa tao, makapagdudugtong ng buhay ng tao, then I will not spend P4 billion for face shields. That’s P4 billion put to waste, wala namang science (that proves that face shields work)(So, if these are the things that can make a person live, can extend a person’s life, then I will not spend P4 billion on face shields. That’s P4 billion put to waste, there is no science (that will prove that face shields work),” Domagoso told DZMM.
Molnupiravir, which was originally developed to treat influenza, is said to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death of COVID patients by 50 percent.
In the contract signed by the Manila government, each capsule of Molnupiravir will cost P87.50, much lower than the cost of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab.
The antiviral drug will be given twice a day for five days to coronavirus patients with mild and moderate symptoms in hospitals that were already granted compassionate special permits by the Food and Drug Administration.