Bahrain ‘is open to adopting Covid pill’

BAHRAIN will not hesitate to adopt the first-ever oral anti-viral medication for Covid-19, once its efficacy is proven, it has been revealed.

National Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus (Covid-19) senior member and Salmaniya Medical Complex Infectious and Internal Diseases consultant Dr Jameela Al Salman was referring to Molnupiravir, a medicine that is referred to as a ‘huge advance’ in the treatment of Covid-19.

She was responding to the GDN at a Press conference held remotely from the Crown Prince Centre for Training and Medical Research, Riffa yesterday.

Interim clinical trials released on Friday indicated that the pill could reduce by about 50 per cent the likelihood of hospitalisation or death for patients at risk of severe disease from Covid-19.

Manufactured by Merck, an American multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Kenilworth, New Jersey, the pill is awaiting approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“We have always adopted our treatment protocols based on studies and results proving efficiency,” Dr Al Salman said.

“We have also been transparent on announcing this and have had results backing the choices.

“There are discussions on the efficiency rate of the pill – which reportedly will reduce the spread of the virus in the body. Some studies say it has 50pc efficacy in countering the infection.

“We are waiting for more information until the third phase trial results are made available and once proven, it will be incorporated into our treatment protocol as well.”

Molnupiravir, designed to introduce errors into the genetic code of the virus, has been purchased by Australia while several Asian countries are also on the potential buyer list.

According to reports, the manufacturer yesterday announced a supply and purchase agreement of the pill to Singapore, the latest in the group, with others being Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia. The Philippines is doing a trial of the pill.

Bahrain has always adopted upfront measures in fighting the spread of infection and has been updating its treatment protocols by adding approved drugs to its provisions.

The latest addition was Regn-Cov2 in August, an artificial drug for prophylaxis – which is the treatment given or action taken to prevent disease. It is being administered to citizens and residents at the A’ali Al Shamil Centre.

The FDA-approved intravenous (IV) drug helps in preventing infection among those who have come in contact with Covid-19 positive cases by 81 per cent, as well as limiting the symptoms in those infected.

A combination of monoclonal antibodies (which are human-made proteins that can reduce a patient’s viral load, helping fight infections) Casirivimab and Imdevimab, Regn-Cov2 is manufactured by Regeneron, an American biotech company, in collaboration with Swiss multinational healthcare company F Hoffmann-La Roche.

It follows Sotrovimab which reportedly reduces the risk of death from Covid-19 complications by 85pc. The FDA-approved medicine by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is also administered to patients at Al Shamil Medical Centre.

Actemra or Tocilizimab, yet another FDA-authorised drug, to treat hospitalised adults and paediatric patients (aged two and older) of Covid-19 was approved in July.

Bahrain had acquired hydroxychloroquine in April last year, one of the earliest drugs to treat Covid-19.

The National Health Regulatory Authority had, in August, authorised the use of Enovid nasal spray to treat Covid-19 as part of a clinical study.



Share this page Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Linkedin

Discover the 'Made in France à Bahrain' Guide

'Made in France à Bahrain' - Edition 2021
is YOUR guide to the economic presence in Bahrain. Click here to view the online guide