Ayala brings anti-COVID drug Molnupiravir to PH

Ayala Corporation announced that the first shipment of Molnupiravir, an oral anti-viral treatment for mild COVID-19, arrived in the country through a partnership between MedEthix, a member of the Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (AC Health).

MedEthix, one of the country’s major pharmaceutical importers and distributors, has partnered with pharmaceutical distribution company JackPharma for the importation of Molnupiravir

Molnupiravir, brand name Molnaflu, is being imported into the country via Compassionate Special Permits (CSPs) issued by the Philippine FDA to several hospitals in the country, including AC Health’s QualiMed hospitals, as well as 30 other hospitals all over the country.

The newly-arrived Molnupiravir treatment courses are supplied by Aurobindo Pharma, an Indian pharma manufacturer licensed by Merck to supply this drug to low and middle-income countries.

The Philippines is the first country in Southeast Asia to receive their supply of Molnupiravir and will be available to the public as of today.

"We are delighted to announce that MedEthix has leveraged its core strength of forging alliances, with the likes of JackPharma who is its appointed national distributor of Molnupiravir, and of QuickFlo Forwarders, which has represented MedEthix before the Bureau of Customs, that, in turn, enabled MedEthix to be recognized as a Super Green Lane holder" said MedEthix President and CEO Monaliza B. Salian.

MedEthix Chief Operating Officer Ma. Victoria P. Sugapong added that, "Indeed, today is a celebration also of AC Health's lead role in the entire Ayala Corporation's group of companies, to put its share towards contributing to national recovery.”

She added that, “#AyalaForPH and AC Health will pledge to ensure the continued availability of Molnupiravir (Molnaflu) treatment courses in all its CSP grantees-hospitals, to our underprivileged countrymen, via all AC Health patient touch points."

The drug, developed by Emory University and Merck, was shown in clinical trials to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death by 50 percent for patients with mild COVID-19.

Molnupiravir could potentially help reduce the burden of COVID-19 to the healthcare system by providing a much- needed option for outpatient treatment to prevent progression to severe disease and death.

Under a CSP, patients diagnosed with mild COVID-19 can be prescribed Molnupiravir, and can avail of the drug from a hospital granted a CSP.

Molnupiravir comes in a 200mg capsule with a recommended regimen of 800mg (4 capsules) to be taken twice a day for 5 days or as prescribed by a physician. It will be available in a bottle of 40 capsules to cover the entire treatment regimen.

“We are delighted that MedEthix and JackPharma have made it possible to bring Molnupiravir into the country,” said AC Health President & CEO Paolo Borromeo.

He noted that, “This drug is a game-changer, and we look forward to offering this life-saving medicine to our patients at QualiMed.”

“Moreover, we are extremely proud that, through the efforts of MedEthix and JackPharma, Molnupiravir will be available nationwide for our countrymen at an affordable price. This is very much in line with the commitment of AC Health and the Ayala Group to support the country’s COVID-19 response efforts,” Borromeo said.

Earlier in the pandemic, AC Health, with the help of its partners, built and capacitated 8 RT-PCR labs for COVID-19 testing, and converted its 4 QualiMed hospitals in Sta Rosa, Laguna; San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan; Tanauan, Batangas, and Iloilo City into COVID-19 referral hospitals.

More recently, AC Health has become one of the largest Healthcare Service Providers of COVID-19 vaccines, and has administered close to 600,000 doses in over 25 vaccination sites across the country.