Anti-viral pills potential game changer

Merck & Co’s experimental oral Covid-19 antiviral drug, Molnupiravir is likely to be effective against known variants of the coronavirus, including the dominant, highly transmissible Delta.

KUCHING: A recently introduced experimental anti-viral pill for beating Covid-19 has been described as a potential game changer in the fight against the coronavirus.

Pharmaceutical company Merck & Co recently claimed that its experimental oral Covid-19 antiviral drug, Molnupiravir, is likely to be effective against known variants of the coronavirus, including the dominant, highly transmissible Delta.

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said he was eager to look forward for the medical research scientific data on its effectiveness.

“This is a potential game changer and I am looking eagerly to seeing the medical research data. 

“Any addition to the armoury against Covid-19 to save lives be it for Category 3 or above will greatly help,” he said in a Facebook post yesterday (Oct 3).

Dr Sim said the current spread of Covid-19 has led scientists, medical experts and policy makers to believe that there is no single treatment.

“It needs a combination of vaccines, drugs and non-pharmaceutical and public health measures.

“This includes wearing face masks, washing hands frequently, physical distancing, social distancing and self-risk assessments,” he said.

The Local Government and Housing Minister said the state government would collaborate with the Health Ministry on the suitability of the drug’s use.

“We will work with Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Merck (Pharmaceutical company) to explore this oral drug, and who it can be used on,” he said.

Last Saturday, Khairy said Malaysia had initiated negotiations to procure a new drug to treat Covid-19 patients.

“As we transition to living with the disease, we will be adding new, innovative treatment options to our arsenal in addition to vaccines.

“I have already started negotiating for Malaysia to procure these effective drugs that have gone through clinical trials,” Khairy said in a tweet.