The three drugs are Molravir 400 from Boston Pharma, Movinavir 200mg from Mekophar Chemical Pharmaceutical and Molnupiravir Stella 400 from Stellapharm, a representative of the Drug Administration of Vietnam under the Ministry of Health.
These drugs are the first Covid-19 antivirals to be approved in Vietnam.
Le Van Truyen, head of the Advisory Council for Drug and Medicinal Ingredient Circulation Registration, said the decision to approve locally produced molnupiravir means Vietnam can produce Covid-19 drugs itself. . There would also be no copyright issue since the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) allowed Vietnam to produce the drug, he added.
The Health Ministry will also consider allowing other companies to produce molnupiravir if they are technically qualified to do so to avoid a monopoly situation, Truyen said.
With domestic production approved, a market for molnupiravir will develop in Vietnam, he added. Previously, when the drug was not yet approved and only the Ministry of Health was authorized to distribute it to patients with Covid-19, it was sold illegally. Now that it is approved, the market for molnupiravir would be managed by the Ministry of Health, Truyen added.
Molnupiravir inhibits the replication of certain viruses by introducing errors in the replication of their viral RNA. This would result in “an accumulation of errors in the viral genome leading to replication inhibition”, also known as the virus error catastrophe.
The drug reduces viral load in the early stages of Covid-19, reducing the chances of severe symptoms and death.