COVID-19 Medicine to be Distributed

Health Ministry's spokesperson Or Vandine speaks during a press conference on Covid-19 update in Phnom Penh.

Drug cuts risk of death or hospitalization

PHNOM PENH--COVID-19 medicine Molnatris has been approved for distribution in Cambodia from Dec. 23.

US maker Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) says the antiviral drug cuts the risk of admission to hospital or death by about 50% in adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 and who are at risk of poor outcomes.

At least eight Asia-Pacific countries are in talks to get the drug, or have already signed deals for it, news reports say.  Britain has approved its use and the US is going through its approvals process.

The drug, which is marketed in some countries under the name Molnupiravir, comes in 200mg capsules.

These can be taken after meals or on an empty stomach. They should be swallowed whole without opening the capsule, breaking, or chewing it. Four capsules should be taken every 12 hours for five consecutive days.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 should take it as soon as possible.

One study says it can cause minor side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, headaches and skin rashes, the ministry said.

Molnatris will be distributed in Cambodia for $55 for 40 capsules to private hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, sub-pharmacies and the public according to certain conditions. An individual is eligible to order from five to 10 sets of capsules.

Private hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and sub-pharmacies can order from 10 to 200 sets and resell them for not more than $65 per dose. They must have a business license before making a purchase.

Private hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, sub-pharmacies and the public can re-order at least two weeks after the last order. Molnatris can be ordered directly at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

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