Antiviral COVID-19 drug molnupiravir makes first delivery in Shanghai
Newly approved oral antiviral COVID-19 medicine LAGEVRIO (molnupiravir capsule) was shipped on Friday from the city's bonded warehouse in the Waigaoqiao area to local distributors.
President of the Sinopharm Group Co Ltd, Liu Yong, said the first batch of shipments are expected to reach local hospitals later today.
The company's Vice President Chen Zhanyu said this marks the official beginning of the commercial supply of LAGEVRIO in China.
The COVID control and treatment now require new measures and antiviral drugs are an essential part of the initiative, he added.
Emergency approval was granted to LAGEVRIO in late December for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults, who are at risk for progressing to severe COVID-19.
Sinopharm was granted in November the distribution rights and exclusive import rights in China for LAGEVRIO.
The first batch of molnupiravir capsules arrived at Shanghai customs on January 4, and Sinopharm said the customs clearance and drug examination process were completed within several hours upon arrival.
It also made specific plans for local distribution during the Chinese New Year holiday, which starts from January 21, to ensure prompt supply for patients, and expects follow-up batches to reach other cities in the coming month.
Medical experts have emphasised the importance for more treatment options to effectively alleviate symptoms, quickly clear the virus, and reduce the risk of hospitalization or death.