Thousands of F0 in Ho Chi Minh City have not been given molnupiravir

More than 85,200 F0 are isolated and treated at home, but Ho Chi Minh City has only received 16,000 doses of molnupiravir (out of 50,000 allocated doses), so most of F0 only receive bags of A and B drugs.

Information provided by Associate Professor Pham Khanh Phong Lan (Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City Pharmacology Association, member in charge) Deployment program of F0 medicine bags at home and treatment facilities) said at a press conference on the prevention of Covid-19, on the afternoon of August 30.

Ho Chi Minh City is distributing medicine for F0 to treat at home, with 3 bags of medicine (A, B, C). Inside, medicine bag A are commonly used drugs including antipyretics and vitamins to improve health. Potion bag are drugs of limited use in some special situations including anti-inflammatory corticosteroids and anticoagulants. Especially, medicine bag is the antiviral drug molnupiravir being used in the experimental phase.

According to Ms. Lan, up to now, the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City has prepare 150,000 bags of medicine A and B. Of which, about 74,000 bags have been delivered to district health centers for delivery to wards and communes. The rest is being stored at Children’s Hospital 1, ready to serve the upcoming F0 demand. “Currently, medicine bags A and B are enough for patients,” said Ms. Lan.

Medicine bag is in the research project of the Ministry of Health. The drug molnupiravir in bag C is a product developed by the US pharmaceutical company Merck and the German company Ridgeback, to treat Covid-19 for mild to moderate patients. Stellapharm Joint Venture Company Limited franchises production in Vietnam. Currently, this drug has not been licensed by the Drug Administration (Ministry of Health).

Of the 116,000 doses of molnupiravir sponsored by Stellapharm, the Ministry of Health has allocated to HCMC 50,000 doses. “The city has just received 16,000 doses, so there may be a shortage of local deliveries,” Lan said, adding that the remaining 34,000 doses will be added on August 31 or September 1. In the past few days, most of F0 only received bags of A and B pills.

Medicine bag for home treatment F0, including A and B drug packs. Photo: Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control.

Molnupiravir is a new antiviral drug, which is in phase 3 clinical trials around the world. The drug has undergone more than a week of phase 2 trials in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and is in phase 3 clinical trials, conducted by Thong Nhat Hospital and the Central Lung Hospital as the focal point.

Ms. Lan said that the advantage is that the company that manufactures the drug molnupiravir is based in Ho Chi Minh City, so it does not take much effort to transport. Another advantage is that this drug is self-produced by enterprises in Vietnam, so it is proactive and does not fall into the situation of “money cannot buy” like vaccines. The company in Vietnam is one of the rare enterprises licensed for production.

Franchisee drugs should require clinical studies, side effects. When F0 is used, they are treated as research subjects. When this bag is handed over to the health facility for F0 treatment at home, the patient must sign a contract to participate in the study, which clearly states in which cases it is used.

Specifically, F0 is given molnupiravir as a rapid test or positive PCR, identified as a new virus carrier using antiretroviral drugs. F0 18-65 years old, mild symptoms (fever, dry cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, tongue numbness), no signs of pneumonia or hypoxia, respiratory rate less than 20 times /min, SpO2 over 96%.

The person who agrees to participate in the trial program will sign a commitment to use the drug molnupiravir for the right purpose, according to the instructions, not to share the drug with others, including relatives. F0 do not become pregnant, do not breast-feed during the period of use of the drug and for 100 days from the last day of use of the drug. Men also need to use contraception during this time. The drug is not used for people with liver failure, acute viral hepatitis, kidney failure, acute and chronic pancreatitis.

The drug molnupiravir was in a phase 3 community trial for 116,000 F0 in HCMC.  Photo: NL

The drug molnupiravir was in a phase 3 community trial for 116,000 F0 in HCMC. Photo: NL

About how to use 3 bags of medicine, Ms. Lan said each bag of medicine C will contain 5 days of medicine. 4 tablets per day, total oral dose is 1,600 mg, divided into 2 oral doses. The study results showed that after 5 days, patients had a marked improvement, reduced virus concentration, reduced hospitalization rate, and reduced mortality.

“Many people mistakenly think that after drinking bag A, drinking bag B and C is not correct,” emphasized Ms. Lan.

Whereby, medicine bag A Everyone should use it if they have a fever, need to improve their condition (use for 7 days). OLD bag If eligible and have signed a contract, use it immediately to reduce the virus concentration (use within 5 days).

If the C-bag has been used, but during use, it becomes severe, the breathing rate is more than 20 times a minute, the SpO2 concentration is less than 95%, respiratory failure, difficulty breathing, then call a medical staff. While waiting for the support of medical staff, Patients can use bag (anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant).

Note, medicine bag B can only be used up to 3 days. This bag must be used immediately when breathing is difficult to relieve immediate symptoms. In 3 days, it is necessary to go to the hospital to have the means of treatment. Because according to Ms. Lan, about 80-90% of F0 symptoms are mild like a cold, but when it gets worse, they change very quickly, sometimes they can’t move their hands in time, if not treated in time, they can die.

“If you use drug B, then stop drug C. Do not use anticoagulants and molnupiravir at the same time because it is very dangerous,” Ms. Lan said.

According to Ms. Lan, drug bag B has a number of contraindications such as pregnant women, nursing mothers, people with stomach and duodenal ulcers, kidney failure, liver failure, diseases that easily cause bleeding…

On August 30, more than 85,200 F0 people in Ho Chi Minh City are isolated, monitored and treated at home, of which more than 60,500 F0 are isolated at home from the beginning and more than 24,700 F0 after discharge from the hospital to continue monitoring. The number of F0 people treated at concentrated isolation facilities in districts is more than 22,000 people.

Le Phuong