Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has set a target for Indonesia to start using the coronavirus drug Molnupiravir from January 2022.
The drug will be imported from the pharmaceutical company Merck by the end of this year.
In addition to Molnupiravir from Merck, Sadikin is also exploring cooperation with Pfizer to procure Plaxlovid pills for COVID-19 treatment. The two drugs were chosen because they have received the green light from the United States Drug Administration (FDA).
“By the end of the year, Molnupiravir should be flown to Indonesia because we imported it. Both are being processed at the National Agency of Drug and Food Control of Indonesia (BPOM) to obtain a usage permit (EUA), and it is hoped that in January, we will be ready to use it,” said Sadikin on Monday 27th December 2021.
Sadikin then explained that, based on research, Molnupiravir was able to provide protection of 50 percent, but the latest results shifted to 30-40 percent. While Plaxlovid is able to provide protection up to 90 percent and in the field it drops between 75-80 percent.
“These two drugs are given to people who are healthy, so they are positive [with COVID-19] but have low fever and symptoms,” he said.
In addition to the two COVID-19 drugs, Sadikin said the government was in the process of conducting clinical trials for several drugs indicated for COVID-19 that were included in the monoclonal antibody category, such as Bamlanivimab and Etesevimab.
He also confirmed that he was studying the antiviral drug AT-527 developed by Roche and Atea Pharmaceuticals, and the drug Proxalutamide produced by Kintor Pharmaceutical from China.