TOKYO: Japan is expected to receive supplies of molnupiravir, a COVID-19 pill developed by Merck & Co., for some 340,000 people by Thursday, health minister Shigeyuki Goto said Friday.
The Japanese government has agreed with Merck to get the novel coronavirus drug for 1.6 million people from the U.S. drug giant.
Molnupiravir pills for over 86,000 people have already been delivered to medical institutions in Japan. The oral drug has been administered to more than 25,000 COVID-19 patients, including those with mild symptoms.
“We believe we can meet the needs” of patients, Goto said at a press conference.
Meanwhile, he sounded cautious about a proposal by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party for allowing people to get their third COVID-19 vaccine shots before six months, the standard interval, pass after their second shots, saying that sufficient clinical trials have not been conducted.