Merck’s anti-Covid pill Molnupiravir 200mg is being rolled out in Cyprus as of Monday and will be available free to Gesy beneficiaries at state hospital pharmacies.
According to the literature, the drug is for mild to moderate infections.
The health ministry had said the pill will be available to Gesy beneficiaries free of charge following the issuance of a prescription by an authorised doctor.
According to the protocol, doctors eligible to prescribe the drug are GPs, doctors specialised in infectious diseases, pneumologists, hematologists, oncologists, cardiologists, neurologists, kidney specialists, rheumatologists, endocrinologists, and geriatricians.
It targets people above the age of 65 years and adults without any serious diseases. These would include renal failure, immunosuppressed people, transplant recipients, those receiving biological agents, cancer patients undergoing chemo, people with various cardiovascular problems, patients with permanent defibrillation, congenital heart diseases, chronic intake of corticosteroids or immunosuppressants among others.
These are on a specific list which was included in a relevant protocol.
The drug should not be prescribed to children, pregnant or lactating women, while women who are included in the list of persons who can receive it and are of reproductive age should take it together with contraceptive pills, an even for another four days after the end of the initial treatment.
The protocol, which explains the drug has not yet been authorised by the EU, includes all the indications, conditions, criteria and contraindications, as well as EMA’s advice on its prescription.
Patients who have been prescribed the drug will be able to obtain it from pharmacies Monday-Friday from 8am to 2.30pm while on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays patients should make an appointment between the hours of 9am and 12 noon, calling the nearest hospital at the following telephone numbers:
Nicosia General Hospital: 22-603000
Limassol General Hospital: 25-801100
General Hospital Larnaca: 24-800500
Paphos General Hospital: 26-803100
Famagusta Hospital: 23-200000
At this stage, at the hospitals in Polis and Troodos, the drug will only be available on weekdays.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday it was currently reviewing Molnupiravir and a recommendation will likely be made by early February.