New Zealand will be one of the first few counties to acquire molnupiravir, a new, oral treatment for COVID-19. The antiviral dosage was already reported to have passed the clinical trials, and the results show efficacy for coronavirus patients. The Pharmaceutical Management Agency and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently informed the public this week that the antiviral drug will continue to roll out in New Zealand as another defense against COVID-19. The oral treatment is expected to work for coronavirus patients with mild to moderate symptoms.

New Zealand Signs Merck Sharp & Dohme's New Antiviral Drug Against COVID-19

Molnupiravir capsule
(Photo : Merck)

Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) was the contractor selected for the molnupiravir deal. Alongside the approval of the exchange, MSD's oral antiviral drug will be tested for approval by the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority or Medsafe. The deal is composed of 60,000 initial molnupiravir supplies that will undergo Medsafe's examination, and once approved, will be distributed to New Zealand citizens. Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and Merck are collaborating on the development of the said antiviral.

Pharmac chief executive Sarah Fitt said in a report by Newsroom that the MSD group was able to obtain results from their clinical trials. Based on the held tests, molnupiravir was able to reduce hospitalizations and decrease the mortality rate from the coronavirus collectively by 50 percent. The expert said that the initial findings from the new antiviral treatment bring promising potential even when it is still on its first few testings. 

New Zealand, according to Ardern, was among the first group of countries that confirmed their advanced purchase and use of the molnupiravir. The prime minister added that the new antiviral drug would be part of the most effective tools of the country to fight COVID-19. But aside from taking molnupiravir, Arden explained that the most efficient way for vulnerable individuals and citizens of every age to protect themselves from the coronavirus is to be vaccinated. She added that molnupiravir is only an additional solution for infected people instead of them going to medical facilities such as hospitals.

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60,000 Monlupiravir for New Zealand: What Can It Do?

Ardern said that the first 60,000 molnupiravir deal is part of New Zealand's strategy implementation against COVID-19. However, the quantity of the drug that will be purchased is the same population-based orders that Singapore and Australia implemented, and not the government's expected COVID-19 infection rates that will occur in the future. Alongside New Zealand, Australia bought 300,000 molnupiravir drugs from MSD last week.

Pharmac, according to Ardern, had been responsible for the deal conducted, and the fast confirmation of purchase was made possible through the health agency's 'speed and hard work.' Fitt said that Pharmac is working on other pharmaceutical collaborations for scientific solutions against COVID-19. The expert also mentioned that the protocols and systematic phases in the agency were updated to match the attention the pandemic requires and that they also allocated separate funding to get hold of new coronavirus treatments.

Molnupiravir is a drug pill that is specialized to target specific virus-induced conditions that impact respiratory health. Among the viral cases that it could potentially treat is COVID-19. According to Merck's latest findings, the development of molnupiravir showed promising efficacy against COVID-19 by stopping the coronavirus from replicating itself.

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