Health D-G offers update on Covid-19 drugs for Malaysia

Chan Wai Kit
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah took to Facebook tonight to share the latest updates on the status of drugs needed for Covid-19 treatments in Malaysia. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah took to Facebook tonight to share the latest updates on the status of drugs needed for Covid-19 treatments in Malaysia.

In his post, the Health director-general revealed that a check of the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) database had found that the drugs ‘Chloroquine’, ‘Hydroxychloroquine’ and ‘Lopinavir/Ritonavir’ are registered with Malaysia’s Drug Control Authority (DCA).

“Supplies of the aforementioned drugs are readily available in Malaysia as they are used to treat other illnesses and can now be used for Covid-19 care,” he wrote.

As for the novel antiviral drug Remdesivir, Dr Noor Hisham said that Malaysia has been chosen by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as one of the countries for the clinical study entitled “Multicentre Adaptive Solidarity Trial — Covid-19”. The joint research will determine the drug’s suitability for treating the deadly infection.

“The NPRA will prepare an ‘expedited review’ so that the drug can be brought to Malaysia for clinical trials as soon as possible,” he said.

With respect to another antiviral drug Favipiravir, Dr Noor Hisham said the Health Ministry (MOH) is in the process of obtaining it from suppliers.

He added that in light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, if registered distributors have insufficient amounts of a particular drug, the ministry can still “procure alternative supplies in the form of unregistered products through a special exemption issued by the Health director-general”.

In the latest figures issued this evening, Malaysia registered 159 new positive Covid-19 cases today, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 2,320.

Twenty-seven people have died from the virus in Malaysia to date.

In his daily press briefing on the Covid-19 situation in the country, Dr Noor Hisham had warned that the MOH is bracing for a possible spike in infections that is predicted to happen in mid-April.



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