It is so fortunate that this past week finally saw the arrival of the two new kinds of medicines that I and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna have ordered months ago for the purpose of saving more lives as COVID-19 continues to be in our midst.
First to arrive were the 40,000 capsules of Molnupiravir, followed by 6,600 tablets of Baricitinib which, just like what we did with our stocks of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab, we are giving for free to those who may need them, whether or not they are from Manila. It doesn’t matter where they reside because our main focus is to save lives, nothing more, nothing less.
My profuse thanks to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for allowing the city to get a compassionate special permit (CSP). While one may have the money to buy Molnupiravir, it cannot be accessed since the one dispensing the medicine does not have the required CSP.
The said product must pass through the FDA and the dispensation is to be carried out by hospitals that have the necessary CSP. We did the same thing in the case of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab.
The FDA has given the city 200mg Molnupiravir treatment for 200,000 capsules meaning , the local government unit (LGU) of Manila can buy again anytime, once its initial stocks of 40,000 capsules have been used up. Said anti-viral drug is the first anti-COVID medicine that was approved to be taken orally and can be taken at home, unlike others previously approved which are administered intravenously or injected by healthcare professionals.
We are simply happy and fulfilled to serve those who need the said medicines as in fact, we have reached far-flung provinces to date and knowing that we are able to save precious lives is priceless. The medicines being purchased by the Manila government are not only hard to access but are also expensive, especially when supplied by private hospitals.
I am thus calling on doctors and health frontliners to inform their patients that they can avail of these newly-acquired Molnupiravir and Baricitinib at no cost, by just following three simple requirements: a doctor’s prescription, an RT-PCR showing positive result and a photocopy of a valid ID of the patient and his or her representative.
But of course, there is still this fervent prayer that we do not receive such requests as lack of such requests would mean that no one among those getting infected is turning severe.
Those who want to get the said free medicines may simply get in touch with Dr. Arnold Poks Pangan and Dr. Ed Santos, head and assistant head of the Manila Health Department, respectively.
This is one of the advantages of having a doctor as a working partner. Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna had been guiding me with all the measures being undertaken by the local government with regard the proper approach to battling the pandemic. From Day 1 of the pandemic, we have been implementing the policy of “inclusivity” wherein all services in the city are also being extended to non-Manilans and these include the free swab testing, use of quarantine facilities, mass vaccination, hospitalization and yes, even our pricey anti-COVID-19 medicines.
The city of Manila had been blessed in that countless individuals have shown their trust and support to what we have been doing by sending donations, big and small, here and abroad.
Helping those who do not live in Manila is one way of paying it forward. There is nothing more beautiful than knowing how to share your blessings, the same way that we expect other cities and municipalities to also aid our citizens should they need it.
As I have stated time and again, in Manila, everybody is welcome for as long as the city can extend help, especially if it means saving precious lives.
Gaya ng paulit-ulit kong sinasabi, kailangan ko angtulong ninyong lahat. Walang magmamalasakit sa Maynila kundi tayo ding mga Batang Maynila. Manila, God first!
For updates on latest developments in the city of Manila, please visit my Facebook account – ‘Isko Moreno Domagoso.’