The move, which aims to make Covid-19 treatment and drugs easier and more widely available, will include four antiviral drugs approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA), namely Favipiravir, Remdesivir, Molnupiravir and the Paxlovid.
“From September 1, people will still not be allowed to purchase antiviral drugs for Covid-19 themselves,” Deputy Permanent Secretary for Public Health Dr. Thongchai Kirattihatthayakorn said on Tuesday.
“Patients with Covid-19 should be diagnosed by a physician, who will prescribe appropriate medications based on medical indications, patient symptoms and other risk factors to avoid side effects,” he said. .
Director General of the Department of Medical Services, Dr. Somsak Akkasilp, said antiviral drugs are FDA-approved for use in emergency situations and long-term side effects have not yet been studied in depth.
“People should therefore be cautious and only use these drugs on doctor’s orders, especially in ‘rebound’ patients who had recovered from Covid-19 and then become re-infected despite taking antivirals,” a- he added.
Earlier this week, the National Health Security Office announced that it would start distributing Molnupiravir to people in vulnerable groups through telemedicine app operator Clicknic Health.
Clicknic CEO Neil Nilwichian insisted patients would be diagnosed by 40-50 doctors through the app to prevent the antiviral drug from being misused or wrongly prescribed.