State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana said that the Covid-19 Technical Committee approved the use of Molnupiravir in Sri Lanka.
As a result, the drug is to be registered in Sri Lanka and made available for patients.
In clinical trials the pill, originally developed to treat flu, cut the risk of hospitalisation or death by about half.
Molnupiravir, developed by the US drug companies Merck, Sharp and Dohme (MSD) and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, is the first antiviral medication for Covid which can be taken as a pill rather than injected or given intravenously.
The drug needs to be given within five days of symptoms developing to be most effective.
The new treatment targets an enzyme that the virus uses to make copies of itself, introducing errors into its genetic code. That should prevent it from multiplying, so keeping virus levels low in the body and reducing the severity of the disease. (Colombo Gazette)