The government of Laos has authorized three more pharmaceutical factories to produce Molnupiravir to treat Covid-19 patients across the country.
Director-General of Food and Drug Department, Ministry of Health, Dr. Bounxou Keohavong, says the ministry has approved three privately-owned factories to manufacture Molnupiravir under various brands in Laos, Lao Youth Radio reports.
The factories will manufacture Molnupiravir pills, which will be distributed to pharmacies across the country as Molacovir, Molavir, Molnucare, and Molnupivir, according to Dr. Bounxou.
He said that the drug will be manufactured in accordance with the same standards as that produced at State Enterprise Pharmaceutical Factory No.3.
“The wholesale and retail rates of Molnupiravir produced in Laos have been fixed at between LAK 350,000 to LAK 400,000 for a single treatment course, with the sale of the drug at rates higher than LAK 400,000 being prohibited,” said Dr. Bounsou.
“Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health is attempting to find a way to lower the cost of medications so that everyone has access to necessary treatments,” Dr. Bounxou added.
He said that with four factories producing the Covid medication in Laos, supplies should see a big jump. However, certain chemicals required for production must be imported as they cannot be sourced domestically.
“This is why the medication is expensive, although we have agreed to cap pricing at LAK 400,000,” noted Dr. Bounxou.
Molnupiravir is prescribed for patients aged 18 to 65 who have mild to moderate Covid-19 symptoms and are in the early stages of the illness.
The Ministry of Health authorized Pharmaceutical Factory No. 3 to produce Molnupravir for the treatment of Covid-19 in Laos at the end of last year.
American pharmaceutical company Merck announced a licensing deal in October 2021 that would allow developing nations to access its antiviral pill for the treatment of Covid-19.