(Source : https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/2110287/bmas-covid-drug-plan-under-review)
The Public Health Ministry raised concerns about the treatment of COVID-19 patients who show little to no symptoms at all with the anti-viral drug Favipiravir. For treatment, the patient is given 50 tablets of Favipiravir over 5 days, which is 10 tablets per day for each patient. Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), voiced concerns over possibilities that the patients’ bodies may resist the drug. He stressed that those given Favipiravir should be closely supervised by medical professionals.
Associate Professor Nitipatana Chierakul, Chief of the Division of Respiratory Disease and Tuberculosis at Siriraj Hospital, posted his own concerns on Facebook, saying he disagreed with the idea of giving the drug to all Covid-19 patients.
Firstly, he expressed concern that over-prescribing the drug to patients may lead to a short-term supply shortage for those in greater need. Secondly, use of Favipiravir for COVID-19 patients is considered “non-rational” (not for its originally intended use) and could produce adverse effects in some patients. Thirdly, the use of Favipravir is still in its early stages. Although one review of the drug concluded it safely and effectively reduced symptoms, there is not enough clinical data to definitively prove this.
Since the third wave of COVID-19 hit, prescriptions of Favipravir have rocketed, already causing current stocks of the drug to run low.
Officials from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) met on 5 May 2021 with medical experts to discuss the situation further.
BMA officials then met on 5 May 2021 with medical experts to discuss the situation further.