Importation of antiviral pill Bexovid to start next month

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 18) — Biocare Lifesciences Inc., importer of anti-COVID-19 pill Bexovid, is expecting to bring in 20,000 to 30,000 boxes of the drug to the Philippines next month.

It will be priced at least 50% to 60% cheaper than its cost in other countries, Biocare Lifesciences Managing Director Dileep Tiwari told CNN Philippines' The Final Word.

Last week, the Philippines' Food and Drug Administration granted a compassionate special permit for Bexovid - the first generic version of Pfizer's Paxlovid. 

The drug may be used for COVID-19 patients aged 12 and above with mild to moderate symptoms.

Tiwari said Bexovid is especially recommended for outpatients, and will be made available only in primary, secondary, and tertiary hospitals.

A patient can just take a prescription from a doctor and buy it from the facility where it is available, he added.

Meanwhile, Monaliza Salian - president of MedEthix Inc., the company that imports another anti-COVID-19 pill molnupiravir - said they have so far brought in 4,000 treatment courses since November last year.

When it comes to local production, both officials expressed willingness to do so, but Tiwari said this may take 3 or 4 months for their part.

The FDA on Monday said Lloyd Laboratories Inc. has applied for emergency use authorization (EUA) for the local production of molnupiravir.