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What is the news?
Indian drugmakers are preparing to play a key role in the global scale-up of the oral covid-19 drug molnupiravir. It is termed to be the first antiviral to treat the disease.
How the drug is beneficial?
The experimental drug reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 50% in an interim trial. Afterwards it has been decided to stop trials and seek emergency approval from the US drug regulator.
Unlike a vaccine, there is really no limitation to scale up the manufacturing of this drug as the chemical process to produce it is simple. We are also in discussions with not-for-profit organizations such as UNITAID, UNICEF for a possible supply agreement.
What is the status of drug approval in India and how it is useful?
Next month, at least three Indian drugmakers will seek approval from the drug regulator following the completion of their own clinical trials for the drug in India.
An approval will help in the global scale-up of the drug, especially in low- and middle-income countries. In India, there are 12 companies that are running clinical trials for this drug.
Source: This post is based on the article ” Molnupiravir, the covid drug that everyone wants to launch ” published in Livemint on 4th Oct 2021.