Health DG: 48,000 stocks of Pfizer's Covid-19 drug Paxlovid have arrived in Malaysia

Health DG: 48,000 stocks of Pfizer's Covid-19 drug Paxlovid have arrived in Malaysia
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KUALA LUMPUR (April 11): A total of 48,000 Paxlovid stocks — Pfizer’s oral Covid-19 antiviral drug — have arrived in Malaysia, according to Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. 

"... 48,000 stocks of PAXLOVID (PF -07321332/Nirmatrelvir 150mg film-coated tablets & Ritonavir 100mg film-coated tablets) have safely arrived at Pharmaniaga Logistics Sdn Bhd," Dr Noor Hisham said in a series of tweets on Monday (April 11). Pharmaniaga Logistics is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pharmaniaga Bhd.

Noor Hisham also stressed in his tweets that Paxlovid should not be used as a replacement for the Covid-19 vaccine.

"The use of Paxlovid is another weapon against Covid-19, an antiviral drug used to treat Covid-19. It is administered immediately upon detection of Covid-19 and within five days of symptom onset to be optimally effective," he said. 

In the infographic shared by him, the side effects of Paxlovid include muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, high blood pressure, and changes in the sense of taste. 

Noor Hisham also noted that Paxlovid is intended for Covid-19 treatment for adults aged 18 and above who do not require oxygen therapy and are at high risk of developing severe symptoms. 

Just last month, the Health Ministry granted conditional approval for the use of Pfizer's Paxlovid to treat adults infected with the virus. 

According to various news reports, Paxlovid is the first oral pill that is specifically designed to treat Covid-19 to be approved in Malaysia. 

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said last month that his ministry is also looking into procuring two other antiviral drugs — Merck's Molnupiravir and AstraZeneca's Covid antibody drug.

Joyce Goh