Home World It is reported that the Hospital Authority intends to purchase 500 COVID-19 oral medicines for approximately HK$5,500 each. Xu Shuchang: Huge expenditure, meeting to discuss | Position report

It is reported that the Hospital Authority intends to purchase 500 COVID-19 oral medicines for approximately HK$5,500 each. Xu Shuchang: Huge expenditure, meeting to discuss | Position report

by news dir

Merck Pharmaceuticals (Merck) in the United States announced on Friday (October 1) the data of its new coronavirus oral drug Molnupiravir, which it has developed, which effectively reduces the risk of hospital admission or death of confirmed cases by half. According to news, the Hospital Authority plans to purchase 500 treatment courses from the pharmaceutical factory, but since the drugs are not registered in Hong Kong, each treatment course costs about HK$5,500. Government expert consultant Xu Shuchang, Chair Professor of Respiratory System at CUHK, believes that this is a huge expenditure and may need to be discussed in the future scientific committee of the Department of Health.

According to a Merck Pharmaceuticals press release, Molnupiravir can reduce the risk of hospitalization or death of confirmed patients by nearly half. The pharmaceutical company also stated that it will apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for authorization for emergency use. The source pointed out to the “Stance” that the HA has planned to purchase 500 courses of treatment from the pharmaceutical factory. However, because the drug is not registered in Hong Kong, the course of treatment is expensive. According to reports, each course of treatment costs US$700, which is about HK$5,500.

Xu Shuchang told The Position that the Hospital Authority is already considering purchasing more treatments. But he pointed out that this is a huge expenditure, so it will be discussed in future scientific committee meetings.

Xu Shuchang said that Merck’s oral drug Molnupiravir is not registered in Hong Kong. The HA plans to purchase 500 courses and is considering additional purchases. As early as June, the US government signed an agreement with Merck Pharmaceuticals to purchase 1.7 million doses for each course of 700 US dollars, which means a total cost of 1.2 billion US dollars. Calculated in Hong Kong dollars, each course of treatment costs about 5,500 yuan. Xu Shuchang bluntly said that it is a huge expenditure, or it may need to be discussed at the scientific committee of the Department of Health.

According to data released by Merck Pharmaceuticals, among the 775 people who participated in the trial, after 5 days of taking molnupiravir in the experimental group, compared with the control group taking placebo, the proportion of severe hospitalizations or deaths can be reduced by half. The participants in this experiment are all mild to moderate patients with obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other problems. However, the data also pointed out that molnupiravir has no obvious effect on patients who have been severely ill and are hospitalized.

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