Coronavirus Pandemic: Italy to purchase Molnupiravir drug to treat COVID-19
Italy will purchase UK-approved antiviral drug molnupiravir for the treatment of COVID-19, Franco Locatelli, coordinator of the Italian Scientific and Technical Committee on Vaccination, said on Friday.
On Thursday, the United Kingdom became the first country in the world to approve molnupiravir, developed by US companies Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, for COVID-19 treatment.
"Aifa [Italian drug regulator] has already made efforts to procure sufficient quantities of this antiviral drug for COVID-19 approved in the UK. This is done so that Italy also has this tool at its disposal," Locatelli said at a press conference in Rome.
Molnupiravir, an oral antiviral medicine originally developed to treat flu, was reported to reduce the hospitalization risk in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 by 50% during the clinical trials. It is currently being assessed to be included in the WHO living guideline on COVID-19 therapeutics and is awaiting authorization for its use from governing bodies.