Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has asked the Ministry of Health (MoH) to immediately cut administrative procedures for the purchase of COVID-19 medication.
|Molnupiravir is seen as efficient for the treatment of mild cases of COVID-19 |
The government leader also asked the MoH to base on the practical situation and learn experience from countries to soon publish a decision on granting licenses for imports and use of COVID-19 medication.
The MoH is also requested to intensify state management of medicine prices, strictly punish speculation activities and drug smuggling in line with prevailing rules, and create favourable conditions for people to access COVID-19 medication.
The MoH has recently granted marketing authorisation for three locally-made oral antiviral medications for the treatment of COVID-19 that contain the active ingredient Molnupiravir. They are Molravir 400 of Boston Vietnam; Movinavir (Molnupiravir 200 mg) of Mekophar, and Molnupiravir Stella 400mg (Molnupiravir 400 mg) of Stellapharm.
The prices of these medications reach from $0.37 to $0.54 per pill in the market.
Some people reportedly find it difficult to purchase these drugs because of complicated procedures as they have to submit a number of papers such as the confirmation of infection and a prescription with the signature of a doctor.
Doctor Truong Huu Khanh, a health expert, said that it is reasonable to require a prescription for the purchase of antiviral medication. However, in the pandemic, this requirement becomes complicated for people to meet.
"Which doctors are authorised to make such a prescription remains unregulated at the moment. Meanwhile, it is too late to receive a confirmation for one's infection from local health divisions because the medication is only efficient in the first days of infection," explained Khanh.