The first shipment of Molnupiravir, an oral anti-viral treatment for mild COVID-19, arrived in the country through a partnership between MedEthix, one of the country’s major pharmaceutical importers and distributors, and JackPharma, a pharmaceutical distribution company. MedEthix is a member of the Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (AC Health), the healthcare arm of the Ayala Group.
Present to receive the first shipment of Molnupiravir at the PAIR Cargo Terminal, Pasay City were Monaliza B. Salian, MedEthix Co-founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer; Meny Hernandez, JackPharma Inc. President; Ma. Victoria P. Sugapong, MedEthix Chief Operating Officer; Paolo F. Borromeo, AC Health President and CEO; Ruby P. Chiong AC Health Chief Finance Officer; Dr. Rizzy A. Alejandro, AC Health Chief Public Health Officer; Michael P. Narvaez, People’s Air Cargo & Warehousing Co. Inc. Chief Operating Officer and Norsalem Raymond M. Mama-o, OIC of PAIR CARGO Assessment Composite Division. The event was facilitated by QuickFlo Forwarders, Inc., the customs brokerage partner of MedEthix and JackPharma.
Molnupiravir, brand name Molnaflu, is being imported into the country via Compassionate Special Permits (CSPs) issued by the Philippine FDA to several hospitals in the country, including AC Health’s QualiMed hospitals, as well as 30 other hospitals all over the country. The newly-arrived Molnupiravir treatment courses are supplied by Aurobindo Pharma, an Indian pharma manufacturer licensed by Merck to supply this drug to low and middle-income countries. The Philippines is the first country in Southeast Asia to receive their supply of Molnupiravir and will be available to the public as of today.
The drug, developed by Emory University and Merck, was shown in clinical trials to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death by 50% for patients with mild COVID-19. Molnupiravir could potentially help reduce the burden of COVID-19 to the healthcare system by providing a much-needed option for outpatient treatment to prevent progression to severe disease and death.
Under a CSP, patients diagnosed with mild COVID-19 can be prescribed Molnupiravir, and can avail of the drug from a hospital granted a CSP. Molnupiravir comes in a 200mg capsule with a recommended regimen of 800mg (4 capsules) to be taken twice a day for 5 days or as prescribed by a physician. It will be available in a bottle of 40 capsules to cover the entire treatment regimen. “We are delighted that MedEthix and JackPharma have made it possible to bring Molnupiravir into the country. This drug is a game-changer, and we look forward to offering this life-saving medicine to our patients at QualiMed. Moreover, we are extremely proud that, through the efforts of MedEthix and JackPharma, Molnupiravir will be available nationwide for our countrymen at an affordable price. This is very much in line with the commitment of AC Health and the Ayala Group to support the country’s COVID-19 response efforts,” said Paolo Borromeo, AC Health President & CEO.
Earlier in the pandemic, AC Health, with the help of its partners, built and capacitated 8 RT-PCR labs for COVID-19 testing, and converted its 4 QualiMed hospitals in Sta Rosa, Laguna; San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan; Tanauan, Batangas, and Iloilo City into COVID-19 referral hospitals. More recently, AC Health has become one of the largest Healthcare Service Providers of COVID-19 vaccines, and has administered close to 600,000 doses in over 25 vaccination sites across the country.