Rural doctors: Big shortage of Covid drugs


MEMBERS of the Rural Doctor Society revealed in the group’s Facebook page chat today (July 18) that there is now a big shortage of two key Covid medicines, Favipiravir and Molnupiravir, despite the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) saying there is no scarcity, said.

The rural doctors said supply is so limited that one hospital sent an SOS via Line messaging app asking to borrow some Favipiravir pills. Each patient has to have at least 50 Favipiravir or 40 Molnupiravir tablets a day.

Another large hospital only has 2,477 Favipiravir pills left, or 49 daily doses, and will have to stretch this out till July 22, 2022, or five more days. This means it can only treat 10 patients a day.

A community hospital was allocated a batch of Molnupiravir to compensate for lack of Favipiravir but earlier it had only received 120 of these pills, which is enough for three patients.

The rural doctors pointed out that GPO has said there is no shortage with these two drugs being regularly delivered but wondered if this was just a whitewash.

If deliveries are being made then GPO should reveal documents to clarify this issue with the public, they added.

This lack of the two key drugs stems from the Public Health Ministry deceiving itself, they said, also accusing the ministry of focusing on controlling the figures not the disease everytime there is a no-confidence/censure debate in Parliament. This starts tomorrow, July 19, and is due to end on Friday July 22.

This dire shortage of both drugs has led to doctors having to dispense them to patients who need them the most, they added.


Top: Some Molnupiravir pills. 

Front Page: Some Favipiravir pills. Both photos: NNT

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