Merck signed a supply and purchase deal with Singapore on Wednesday, ensuring access to its experimental oral COVID-19 antiviral medication. Singapore is the latest Asian nation to request supplies.

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Merck announces its deal with Singapore.

Singapore's Health Ministry Confirmed the Deal

In a recently published article in MSN News, Molnupiravir is an antiviral medicine that works by introducing mistakes into the coronavirus's genomic coding. It would be the first oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19. The transaction was verified by Singapore's health ministry, which refused to disclose the number of dosages bought due to commercial sensitivity.

Molnupiravir will be accessible for use once Merck, commonly known as MSD Pharma in Singapore, submits data to the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and receives approval for use in Singapore, according to the ministry. Meanwhile, Merck did not yet conduct a clinical trial in Singapore.

Singapore's Health Ministry said, "The addition of molnupiravir to our portfolio of COVID-19 therapeutics ensures that we have a range of treatment options for different patient groups," according to a recently published article in Reuters.

Read Also: WHO, Others, Warn Using Ivermectin as Treatment to COVID-19

Merck Seeks For U.S. FDA Authorization

Merck & Co. said on Friday that it would seek government clearance for the emergency use of molnupiravir, a novel antiviral tablet that has been shown in a clinical study to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death in high-risk individuals infected with COVID-19.

Merck CEO and President Robert Davis said in a company statement that more tools and therapies are urgently required to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, which has become a significant cause of mortality and continues to have a devastating impact on patients, families, and communities across the globe, as well as burden health care systems, according to a report published in U.S. News.

Merck's vice president of infectious diseases and vaccine development, Daria Hazuda, told a news source that antivirals, particularly oral antiviral, have long been seen to make a significant contribution to the pandemic. Keeping patients out of the hospital is decisive given the development of variations and the virus's ongoing mutation.

Because the drug's advantages to patients were compelling, an independent board of specialists reviewing the trial's data advised that the trial be stopped early, according to Merck. The decision has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to the firm.

Other Countries To Buy Merck's Antiviral Pill

Australia has also purchased Merck's antiviral pill, and it is being considered by Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, and Malaysia. The Philippines is hoping that their drug trial would provide it access. Data from preliminary clinical studies published on Friday showed that the medication might decrease the probability of hospitalization or death for individuals at risk of serious illness by approximately 50 percent of COVID-19.

Moreover, patients who are eligible for monoclonal antibody therapies, potentially elderly individuals, and those with medical comorbidities that place them at high risk of poor consequences from COVID-19 infection may be included in this group at first. However, scientists predicted that the medication would be utilized in a large number of individuals who tested positive for the virus in the future.

Related Article: Merck's COVID-19 Pill Reportedly Reduces Risk of Hospitalizations, Deaths: Is it a Game-Changer or Just Another Tool?