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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, April 13: Apart from the 2,400 doses of Paxlovid allocated by the Health Ministry (MOH), Sarawak is acquiring Ronapreve and is negotiating to buy additional doses of Paxlovid to complement MoH’s allocation for Sarawak.
The 2,400 doses of Paxlovid were part of the shipment of 48,000 doses which arrived Malaysia on Saturday (April 9).
Deputy Premier of Sarawak Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian in a social media post said he had a follow-up meeting with Pfizer Malaysia over acquiring the oral antiviral treatment.
“Scovag (Sarawak Covid-19 Vaccination Advisory Group) and the State Secretariat will follow up negotiations and legal paperwork for the Sarawak government to buy additional doses of Paxlovid to complement MOH’s allocation for Sarawak,” said Dr Sim, who is also the Public Health, Housing and Local Government Minister.
He said similar to December 2021, after advice from Scovag which consists of local health experts, the Sarawak government acquired Roche’s single dose antibody cocktail called Ronapreve which costs more than RM5,000 per dose for hospitals under MoH.
Dr Sim explained that Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg had given instructions to acquire any of the latest scientifically proven medications for Sarawakians to supplement or complement MOH if necessary as Sarawakians’ lives must come first despite healthcare matters being under the purview of the federal government.
According to a Yale Medicine article dated April 12, 2022 titled “12 Things to know about Paxlovid, the latest Covid-19 pill”, Paxlovid is “an oral antiviral pill that can be taken at home to help keep high-risk patients from getting so sick that they need to be hospitalised”.
The drug which was developed by Pfizer, yields positive results, and showed an 89 per cent reduction in the risk of hospitalisation and death in clinical trials.
It was granted an emergency use authorisation by the USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year for those above 12 years of age and who weigh 40kg and above.
Meanwhile, the drug known as Ronapreve in the UK and REGEN-COV in the USA was developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals with Roche.
It is licensed for emergency use and has been used to treat or prevent acute Covid-19 infection. It is administered by injection or infusion. — DayakDaily