Mexico authorizes emergency use of molnupiravir from Merck to treat covid-19


Latin American countries are under the impact of the Omicron variant.

Latin American countries are under the impact of the Omicron variant.

Photo: CLAUDIO CRUZ / AFP / Getty Images

The Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) of Mexico authorized emergency use of the drug molnupiravir, from the pharmaceutical company Merck, as a treatment for covid-19.

In a statement, Cofepris stressed that this oral treatment is for controlled emergency use, and made it clear that It is not a substitute for the application of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 nor should it be used without medical indication.

“The authorization for emergency use is issued in a controlled manner and requires a prescription, considering the detailed limits in the authorization document to avoid misuse of this drug, self-medication and / or its irregular sale, ”the agency explained.

It also specified that the approval process for this drug began on December 23, when it exchanged “technical information” with regulatory bodies in other countries.

“This process of knowledge transfer is carried out thanks to the” reliance “, or regulatory convergence, declared a priority in Cofepris in August of last year,” he added.

Indications

According to the body, the drug can be used in adults with mild COVID-19 disease, who do not require supplemental oxygen, and also in those who have at least one risk factor for developing the disease in a serious way.

In addition, it is approved for use in whom the authorized alternative covid-19 treatment options are not accessible or clinically appropriate.

The drug, according to the information provided, works by introducing errors into the genetic code of the virus SARS-CoV-2, preventing it from replicating in the body and it is an oral medication supplied through capsules for five days.

Molnupiravir, which it is cheaper to produce than other drugs, already has the support of licensing agreements for generic drug companies to produce the pill.

On Friday, during his morning press conference, the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, announced that this drug will be administered in public hospitals in the country.

Approval is given just when Mexico exceeded 300,000 deaths from covid-19 and sum more than four million infections.

Last December, Cofepris authorized the emergency use of injectable drugs with the generic name bamlanivimab and etesevimab to treat patients with mild or moderate covid-19.

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