Francis Tolentino

Tolentino donates Molnupiravir for Senate employees with COVID

November 24, 2021 Marlon Purification 262 views

SENATOR Francis “Tol” Tolentino has turned over to the Senate one box of COVID-19 capsule Molnupiravir to treat Senate employees who have tested positive for the virus.

In a letter to Senate Secretary Myra Marie Villarica, through the Senate Medical and Dental Bureau, Tolentino said the capsule was determined as “the most appropriate supplemental/additional treatment in this case because studies have shown associations between high SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal ribonucleic acid (RNA) levels and both hospitalization and transmission rates.”

Tolentino donated a total of 3,200 capsules of Molnupiravir, with brand name Molnarz.

Molnupiravir pills, Tolentino said, “could benefit our efforts to treat and curb the severity of COVID-19.”

“The preliminary phase 2/3 clinical trial results showed that Molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 by about 50 percent for newly-diagnosed, high-risk patients,” Tolentino said.

“The drug significantly reduced the risk of hospitalization or death in at risk, non-hospitalized adult patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 and it worked equally well against SARS-CoV-2 variants, including delta, gamma and mu,” Tolentino added.

Villarica, on behalf of the Senate, thanked Tolentino for the donation.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a compassionate special permit (CSP) for the use of Molnupiravir, developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, to several hospitals.

The first shipment of Molnupiravir arrived the country last Wednesday. This is also the first delivery of the pill in Southeast Asia.

Molnupiravir received its first regulatory approval globally in the United Kingdom on November 4.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) last week said Molnupiravir should be given early and within five days of first symptoms to treat adults who do not need oxygen support and are at risk of their disease worsening.

It advised against treatment during pregnancy and for women who plan to or could get pregnant, while adding that breastfeeding must also be stopped around the time of using the pill, which is to be taken twice a day for five days.