NEW DELHI: Dr Ram Vishwakarma, Chairman of the Covid Strategy Group, CSIR, said on Wednesday that the Merck drug Molnupiravir, an oral antiviral medicine for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19, will likely be approved “within days.” Adults who are at risk of developing severe COVID-19 or requiring hospitalisation should take the medication. Paxlovid, a Pfizer tablet, may take a little longer, he added.
He believes the two medications will make a difference, and that “as we move from pandemic to endemic, these are the ones which are going to be more important than vaccination”.
He claims that the price will be far cheaper than the 700 dollars that the Merck vaccine is expected to cost in the United States, “because in America it is costly for various other reasons and not for the manufacturing cost”.
“I think here when the government of India comes into play, they will buy in bulk from these companies and of course, they will have a dual pricing system and a staggered pricing system,” he stated.
It might cost initially “2000 to 3000 or 4000 rupees per cycle of treatment, then it will come down to 500 to 600 or 1,000 rupees”, he stated.
In the previous 24 hours, India has logged 11,466 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total active caseload to 1,39,683. The current rate of active coronavirus cases in India is 0.41 percent, the lowest since March 2021.