KUALA LUMPUR: The drugs Chloroquine, Hydroxychloroquine and a combination of Lopinavir-Ritonavirwhich, which are all available in Malaysia for treating other ailments can be used for the treatment of COVID-19.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the drugs were all registered with the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).
He said the Health Ministry would always facilitate the supply of imported antiviral drugs like Favipiravir and Remdesivir so that they could be used for COVID-19 treatment.
“For Remdesivir, Malaysia has been chosen by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to take part in the ‘Multicentre Adaptive Solidarity trial – COVID-19’ clinical study in which the drug will be used.
“The NPRA will provide an expedited review route to bring in the clinical study products to Malaysia as soon as possible, while for Favipiravir, the ministry is sourcing the drug from suppliers,” he said on his Facebook page today.
He explained that in the current pandemic, should there be insufficient supply of medicines from registered parties, the ministry could still obtain alternative supplies of unregistered products through the exemption of the special legal approval provisions by the Health director-general and Health Ministry.
The ministry will carry out continuous monitoring through its registered product quality monitoring programme and pharmacovigilance to ensure the quality, safety and effectiveness of the medicines are guaranteed for the benefit of patients, he said.