Laos is to increase production of its Molacovir medication used to treat Covid-19 in order to meet rising demand.
Managing Director of State Enterprise Pharmaceutical Factory No. 3, Dr. Lahounh Chanthabout, says demand for the medication is to triple this year, Vientiane Times reports.
Molacovir, produced by State Enterprise Pharmaceutical Factory No. 3 in Vientiane Capital, is the trade name for molnupiravir, an antiviral drug developed by scientists in the United States.
American pharmaceutical company Merck announced a licensing deal in October that would allow developing nations to access its antiviral pill for the treatment of Covid-19.
The drug is taken orally and is mass-produced in pill form. It was initially developed by scientists at Emory University to treat influenza and works by blocking the ability of the coronavirus to replicate.
The Ministry of Health gave the green light for the drug’s production in November last year, assigning production to PHarmaceutical Factory No. 3.
Molacovir has been distributed to pharmacies in Vientiane Capital and across several provinces.
The factory, which began producing the drug in December last year, has been unable to meet demand because of the increase in the number of Covid patients.
Some 40 capsules are required to treat one patient.
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