Ayala Health Plans to Sell World's First Anti-COVID Pill in the Philippines

It's seeking FDA approval to import 300,000 doses.
Photo/s: Merck

Ayala Corp's healthcare unit said Friday it was planning to import the world's first anti-COVID drug to the Philippines

Through MedEthix, AC Health said it was seeking clearance from the Food and Drug Authority to buy at least 300,000 doses of Merck's molnupiravir which would be sold in QualiMed hospitals, 

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The pill is said to be most effective when taken during the early stages of infection, or within five days of the onset of symptoms. It can reduce the risk of hospitalization or death by 50%.

Molnupiravir can be taken at home to treat mild to moderate infections, AC Health said.

READ: Merck's COVID Pill Hailed After Cutting Hospitalizations by Half

Molnupiravir has yet to be cleared for emergency use in the Philippines and can only be administered on grounds of "compassionate use", to be determined by the FDA, Health Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Oct. 29.

So far, only the UK has approved the use of the anti-viral drug.

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