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Dr Balram Bhargava, DG, ICMR (Photo/ ANI)
Dr Balram Bhargava, DG, ICMR (Photo/ ANI)

COVID-19: Oral anti-viral drug Molnupiravir is not included in national task treatment, says ICMR chief Dr. Bhargava

By Shalini Bhardwaj | Updated: Jan 05, 2022 22:29 IST

New Delhi [India], January 5 (ANI): Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) head Dr. Balram Bhargava on Wednesday stated that the oral anti-viral drug Molnupiravir capsules are not included in the national task force treatment for COVID-19 as it has side effects.
Addressing a press briefing, Dr. Bhargava said, "Molnupiravir has major safety concerns including mutagenicity, muscle and bone damage. If this drug is given contraception has to be done for three months as the child may have problems. So it is not included in national task force treatments."
Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on December 28 had approved Dr Reddy's laboratories for the emergency-use authorization) to manufacture and market the oral anti-viral drug Molnupiravir capsules 200mg for the treatment of adult patients with COVID-19, with the oxygen saturation level less than 93 per cent and who have a high risk of progression of the disease including hospitalization or death
Dr Reddy's will be manufacturing and supplying the generic version of Molnupiravir to over 100 low and middle-income countries.
The press statement issued by a company spokesperson said, "Dr. Reddy's Laboratories will launch the most affordably-priced molnupiravir capsules 200mg under its brand name Molflu™ across India. Dr Reddy's Molflu™ will be priced at Rs 35 per capsule with 10 capsules contained per strip, and the total course of 40 capsules over 5 days costing Rs. 1,400 making it among the most affordable treatment options available to patients."
The antiviral pill was recommended by the Subject Expert Committee after providing additional efficacy data by the 13 pharma companies.
Notably, India on Wednesday reported 58,097 fresh COVID cases and 534 deaths while on Tuesday, the country had recorded 37,379 new COVID cases and 124 deaths. (ANI)