Molnupiravir and Paxlovid: The Council of Ministers today decided to order two drugs that can help in the treatment of Covid-19 patients. Large quantities are to be purchased. The products from Merck & Co (MSD) and Pfizer are currently being approved.
50 million euros for medication
The Austrian federal government wants to procure a total of 80,000 therapy cycles from Merck & Co (MSD) from Molnupiravir at 612 euros each, from Paxlovid from Pfizer 270,000 cycles (there is no price yet). A total of 50 million euros has been earmarked for this item in the budget. They are handled through the relevant EU mechanism, but for the most part bilaterally. If it gets more expensive, the Ministry of Finance’s Covid-19 crisis fund can be accessed, according to the Ministerial Council lecture.
Not a panacea
These drugs could not replace vaccination, but they are very important for the chronically ill and high-risk patients. What needs to be found for this are appropriate outpatient settings, said Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein (Greens). The preparations have to be taken between the third and fifth day. However, the patients usually only come to the hospital on the sixth day.
Effectiveness tested in studies
In the so-called Phase III study, molnupiravir, which was originally developed against flu, halved the number of Covid patients who had to be hospitalized. It was only on Tuesday that the EMA announced that it would start testing for approval.
According to the manufacturer’s test results, Paxlovid has reduced hospital admissions and deaths in high-risk patients by almost 90 percent.