TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said on Wednesday (Oct. 6) that Taiwan has been active in trying to secure molnupiravir, an oral antiviral pill for treating COVID-19.
The CECC will introduce the drug to the country once its application for an emergency use authorization (EUA) is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is expected to happen at the end of November, CNA reported.
Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced in a press release on Oct. 1 that molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by approximately 50% for at-risk, non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms.
The drugmakers plan to submit an EUA application to the FDA as soon as possible and submit marketing applications to other regulatory bodies worldwide. As of late, many Asian countries have been actively involved in efforts to secure purchase agreements for the drug.
When asked by media to reveal the amount of the antiviral Taiwan plans to purchase and for how much, CECC Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) declined to provide answers, saying the government is still in talks with the drug manufacturers and that he did not want to undermine the negotiations.