Merck Allows Indian Pharmaceutical Companies to Manufacture and Supply Affordable COVID-19 Pills


Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, an Indian multinational pharmaceutical company, launches Molnupiravir, a generic version of Merck’s COVID-19 oral antiviral drug, at a very affordable rate of 1,400 rupees ($ 18.8), 37 times cheaper than the United States. To do.

Dr. Lady’s “Motoful” is priced at $ 0.47 per 200 mg tablet and the treatment consists of a 5-day course of 40 tablets and 800 mg twice daily. In the United States, treatment with Merck capsules costs $ 700. A spokeswoman for the company said, “Morful is expected to be available in (India) pharmacies early next week, especially in the states with the highest number of COVID-19 cases,” a Reuters spokeswoman said. Said.

On December 25, 6,987 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in India, averaging 7,658 for 7 days. On January 4, the number of cases increased by 730% to 58,097, with an average of 29,925 infections over the new 7 days. The first Omicron case was enrolled in India on 2 December.

The region has approved the use of molnupiravir in emergencies as it is considering the possibility of a new wave of infection led by Omicron. Starting next week, Motflu is expected to be available in all major pharmacies, especially in the hardest-hit Indian states.

Dr. Reddy’s manufactures medicines at a USFDA-approved facility and “is well prepared to support a population of needy patients not only in India but around the world.” I am. statement Released last month.

The pharmaceutical company recently signed a non-exclusive voluntary license agreement with Merck Sharpe Dohme (MSD) to manufacture and supply molnupiravir in India and more than 100 low- and middle-income countries.

Invented by Emory University in Atlanta, Merck’s drug blocks the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and is the result of collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, a biotechnology company based in Florida. Approved by UK, US and Japanese regulatory agencies for the treatment of inpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19.

Merck is Dr. It has approved the manufacture of medicines for 13 Indian companies, including Reddy’s, Cipla, Sun Pharma and BDR, and plans to leverage resources in the region to develop a production hub for medicines. BusinessToday report.

Molnupiravir can be used by adult patients with 93% blood oxygen levels at high risk of developing infection. This drug is not allowed for people under the age of 18. Do not use the pill for more than 5 consecutive days.

Naveen Athrappully


Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and global events in The Epoch Times.