FDA grants emergency use for molnupiravir brand

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 23) — Molnarz, a brand of the antiviral pill molnupiravir, has been granted emergency use authority, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Thursday.

FDA Director General Eric Domingo said the drug would be allowed to be administered to patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 only.

"Ito ay pwede lamang ibigay sa mga adults 18 years old and above na positive sa COVID-19 and merong risk factors for developing severe illness, katulad ng mga senior citizen o mga may comorbidites," Domingo said at the Laging Handa briefing.

[Translation: This can only be given to adults 18 years old and above who are positive for COVID-19 and have risk factors for developing severe illness, like senior citizens and those with comorbidities.]

He added that the pill would not be given to pregnant women, those not using contraception and could get pregnant, as well as those who are lactating.

"Kulang pa ang datos natin para masabi na safe siya sa grupong ito," he added.

[Translation: We don't have enough information if it's safe to use in this group.]

Four hospitals previously received a compassionate special permit to use molnupiravir, but because an EUA has already been granted, Domingo said no other permits would be given. 

"Since meron na pong EUA ang gamot na molnupiravir, titigil na po tayo sa pagbigay ng compassionate special permit dito. ‘Yung mga stock ng ating ospital maaari naman po nilang gamitin ‘yan at ubusin," he said.

[Translation: Since there is already an EUA for molnupiravir, we will stop giving a compassionate special permit for this anymore. Hospitals that still have stocks can still use them until depleted.]

He said aside from Molnarz, other brands have also submitted applications for EUA and that they would be granted the same once they comply with the requirements.