Merck’s experimental anti-Covid pill ‘Molflu’ will cost Rs 35

Coronavirus: Dr Reddy’s Molnupiravir will be sold under the brand name ‘Molflu’.

New Delhi: Drugmaker Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd will launch the generic version of Merck’s antiviral COVID-19 pill, mollupiravir, at Rs 35 per capsule, a company spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The total cost of a patient treated with a 5-day course of 40 capsules of the generic drug, sold under the brand name ‘Molflu’, would be Rs 1,400 ($18.77). In comparison, the cost of Merck’s pill treatment in the United States is $700.

“Molflu is expected to be available in pharmacies across India from early next week, with a special focus on states with high caseloads of COVID-19,” a company spokesperson said.

India last week approved Molnupiravir for emergency use with two vaccines, as the country prepares for a possible spike in coronavirus cases due to the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

India on Tuesday reported 37,379 new COVID-19 cases, the highest since the beginning of September.

With a view to transform India into a manufacturing hub, Merck has entered into licensing agreements with eight domestic drug manufacturers, including Dr Reddy’s, to manufacture and supply generic versions of Molnupiravir in over 100 low and middle income countries.

The country’s health minister said last week that a total of 13 companies in India would make Molnupiravir.

Governments around the world are scrambling to buy a similar but more effective antiviral treatment from Pfizer, while Merck’s pill has faced some setbacks after disappointing trial data.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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