Troubleshooting for F0 to buy molnupiravir

The Ministry of Health is holding a meeting to discuss whether to provide molnupiravir by prescription or to make it widely accessible to the public, in the context that many F0s find it difficult to buy drugs in recent days.

Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son said VnExpress know as above, noon 25/2. Currently, the Ministry of Health has not announced the conclusion after the meeting.

Yesterday, the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City sent an official dispatch to the Ministry of Health, asking for guidance on prescribing the drug molnupiravir to treat Covid-19 – a group A infectious disease. According to the Chief of Office of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai, the Ministry of Health needs specific guidance so that pharmacies are not entangled by the “conditional sale of drugs” regulations, can safely sell drugs to people.

According to Mai, molnupiravir is a special antiviral drug that people can only buy when it is confirmed that they have Covid-19 and are prescribed by a doctor. The doctor will evaluate the patient’s condition to decide whether it is necessary to use this drug during treatment. Doctors are also responsible when prescribing molnupiravir to their patients, monitoring to prevent complications, side effects if any. “Doctors at health stations, mobile medical stations, medical centers, hospitals, private clinics… can all prescribe molnupiravir for patients,” said Mai.

Three enterprises including Boston Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company Vietnam, Stellapharm Vietnam Joint Venture Company Limited, Mekophar Chemical and Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company, on the afternoon of February 23, supplied molnupiravir to drug retailers worldwide. country. However, in the past two days, many people having difficulty accessing medication, because pharmacies only sell to people with a prescription from a doctor or a certificate of treatment F0 from the local health department. Meanwhile, many people do a quick self-test, self-treat at home, do not declare local health, so they do not have a certificate of F0 from the authorities.

While waiting for the authorities to have specific instructions, pharmacies find ways to solve problems for buyers. On the morning of February 25, Ms. Bao Loc, living in Go Vap district, Ho Chi Minh City, went to Long Chau pharmacy on Nguyen Van Nghi street to buy molnupiravir without confirmation of F0 from the local. She was instructed by the pharmacy staff “to be able to record a video of the positive rapid test process”. “For the past few days, I have a sore throat, cough with phlegm, this morning I quickly tested positive, so I went to buy molnupiravir right away, haven’t reported it to the ward’s health department yet, so I don’t have a confirmation,” Ms. Loc said. After providing a video recording the self-sampling process, testing and positive results, Ms. Loc was sold a box of molnupiravir by the pharmacy.

Accepting a quick self-test video of the buyer is the flexible handling of the Long Chau pharmacy system, applied from the afternoon of February 24. Ms. Phan Thanh Uyen, Marketing Director of FPT Long Chau Joint Stock Company (which owns the Long Chau pharmacy chain) said this treatment is based on the fact that some wards and districts in Hanoi, such as Hoang Liet ward, accept It is convenient for people to record a quick self-test video at home to identify cases and dispense medicine. This is how the locality responds to the high F0 situation, many people cannot connect to medical facilities because the hotline phone number is always overloaded.

Thus, there are currently three conditions for a person to buy molnupiravir, which is to record a video of the testing process at home and send it to the pharmacy pharmacist as a basis for purchase (additional new condition); have a doctor’s prescription for molnupiravir; or certificate of F0 (certificate of rapid test, PCR test of medical facilities). The following two conditions have been applied from February 23 to now.

According to the business representative, the self-recorded video needs to clearly show the person being sampled, the operation, the implementation process, a close-up on the two red lines (positive sign). When selling molnupiravir, pharmacy staff simultaneously store videos and related documents, if any, into the system with patient information.

Business leaders also sent an official dispatch to the Ministry of Health asking for approval of the above conditions for selling drugs, as well as specific instructions.

By the end of February 24, FPT Long Chau had sold about 10,000 boxes of molnupiravir to the market. The system recorded a lot of people asking to buy medicine but not yet qualified. “Hopefully with more self-test video recording, people will have easier access to medicines,” said Ms. Uyen.

While, Enterprises speed up production of molnupiravir, do not face difficulties in importing raw materials, so they do not worry about drug shortages. Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Lieu, Deputy General Director of Stellapharm Joint Venture Company Limited, said that in the past few days, the factory has produced about 4 million doses of molnupiravir to serve the domestic market. The company is accelerating three times and continues to import raw materials and produce continuously to meet people’s needs.

According to Mr. Le Ngoc Trinh, Deputy General Director of Boston Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company Vietnam, the company produces about 1.5 million pills a day and can increase capacity based on market demand. The company has signed contracts with more than 10,000 pharmacies nationwide, has been arranging the earliest delivery.

Representatives of businesses advised people to calm down, not to be impatient to find ways to store drugs because there will be no shortage of drugs, production materials may decrease further, so drug prices are likely to decrease further. Currently, the drug is sold for 250,000 VND a box. In addition, this is a new drug, approved by the Ministry of Health with a shelf life of 6-8 months, so if stored for a long time not used, it may expire, causing waste. “The shelf life can be increased when businesses submit updated records of the results of the stability studies in the laboratory,” Mr. Trinh said.

Molnupiravir is manufactured at Boston Vietnam Company (Binh Duong) on ​​February 23. Photo: Quynh Tran

Molnupiravir is the first anti-viral drug to treat Covid-19 that was approved by the Ministry of Health on February 17. Previously, the drug was only distributed free of charge to F0 in the trial program of the Ministry of Health. The drug works to reduce the viral load in the body, thereby reducing the risk of seriousness and death. A box of molnupiravir contains 20 400 mg tablets or 40 200 mg tablets, enough for a 5-day course of treatment for one person.

The drug must not be used for more than 5 consecutive days, not used for prophylaxis before or after Covid-19 infection or as initial treatment for hospitalized Covid-19 patients. Children, patients allergic to molnupiravir or any of its ingredients, pregnant and lactating women should not use this medicine.

Le Phuong


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