Even as the new Covid variant – Omicron — is making headlines and the world seeing a surge in Covid 19 cases, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has given its nod to Molnupiravir for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for the treatment of adult patients with Covid-19 and who have high risk of progression of the disease.
Molnupiravir is easy to take at home, an anti-viral oral pill. Many experts believe the drug may prove to be a game-changer as it will aid in preventing the infections from worsening, especially with the Omicron variant which is quickly spreading. The drug may play important role in delaying the spread, a release said.
Molnupiravir has been developed by Ridgeback in collaboration with the pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. The pill has also been cleared by regulators in Denmark, Philippines, and the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to treat mild-to-moderate Covid-19 in adults. Keeping in mind the high-risk population that may progress to severe disease, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee (AMDAC) voted 13 to 10 to recommend emergency authorization of Molnupiravir for the treatment of mild to moderate Covid-19 in adults.
According to Dr P. P. Bose, Senior Consultant Pulmonologist National Heart Institute and Fortis CDOC, New Delhi and President, Saans Foundationstated, “Molnupiravir demonstrated consistent efficacy across viral variants and has shown promising results. The drug helps reducing the number of hospitalizations/deaths in patients with mild to moderate disease at risk of progression to severe disease. The drug may be instrumental in stopping the spread of Covid-19 infections and possible worsening of the condition. As we get the DCGI approval, I hope with the availability of Molnupiravir we be significant in offering an affordable oral drug to treat Covid-19 in India. In India we are expecting this drug to be by a handful of pharma companies, it will be available under different brand names. For instance, Cipla is bringing it under the name of Cipmolnu, there will be other companies also.”
According to a study based on population-level evidence, the recently identified Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 is associated with a substantial ability to evade immunity from prior Covid-19 infection. Omicron is also considered to be three times more transmissible than the Delta variant.