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The oral antiviral COVID-19 medicine LAGEVRIO (molnupiravir capsule) has been on sale in many places across China, with different medical insurance reimbursement ratios.
Molnupiravir, developed by US pharmaceutical giant Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), among other COVID treatments including Paxlovid and Azvudine tablets, is currently covered by China’s public health insurance until March 31.
A hospital in Xuzhou, East China’s Jiangsu Province issued its first prescription pad of molnupiravir on January 18. According to the regulation of local medical insurance, 75 percent of the cost could be reimbursed in the outpatient service and there is no threshold limit.
On January 17, the first batch of molnupiravir capsules was transported to the Southwest Hospital in Chongqing. Meanwhile, the medicine has come to nearly 80 public hospitals in Shanghai.
The Healthcare Security Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality said that from January 8 to March 31, the hospitalization expenses of patients infected with the new coronavirus will be fully covered by the medical insurance and the monogravir capsules have been temporarily included in the medical insurance with 85 percent of the cost to be potentially that can be reimbursed.
On December 29, 2022, the State Food and Drug Administration conditionally approved the import registration of monoravir capsules. The 10th edition of China’s COVID-19 control protocols released on January 6 added the drug to the content of antiviral treatments. Monogravir capsules are the third oral antiviral COVID-19 medicine approved in China after Paxlovid and Azvudine tablets.
In September last year, China’s large-scale vaccine producer Sinopharm and MSD signed a cooperation framework agreement, under which Sinopharm would be an exclusive dealer of molnupiravir in China.
In November, a subsidiary of Sinopharm signed an agreement with MSD to be responsible for the import and distribution of molnupiravir in the Chinese mainland.
Molnupiravir is a small-molecule oral antiviral drug that can be used for treating mild-to-moderate COVID-19 patients who face the risk of developing more serious symptoms, including patients who are elderly, obese or have chronic conditions like coronary heart disease or diabetes. Patients should use the medicine strictly according to the instructions under the guidance of a doctors.