Hospitals are not allowed to sell Covid-19 antiviral drugs distributed by the ministry, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Monday.
He made the remarks after a private hospital was found selling packages of Favipiravir and Molnupiravir.
Anutin said the distribution by the ministry was aimed at enabling Covid-19 patients to access treatment in line with their rights.
He stressed that both Favipiravir and Molnupiravir are sufficient for Covid-19 patients and the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation can produce these drugs on its own.
He also confirmed that all Covid-19 antiviral drugs procured by the government can treat the disease effectively and safely.
“Currently, the usage of drugs is in line with the emergency decree, so the Department of Health Service Support will inspect hospitals that sell the drugs,” he said.
He added that there is no clear evidence about sales of Covid-19 antiviral drugs so far.
Meanwhile, Department of Health Service Support director-general Thares Krassanai-Rawiwong explained that private hospitals are now able to request Favipiravir and Molnupiravir from the ministry and also import these drugs from overseas.
However, he pointed out that private hospitals can sell their imported drugs at a specified price, adding that they must inform patients in advance.
“Patients who find private hospitals selling Covid-19 antiviral drugs without intimation can file complaints at the Department of Health Service Support,” he said.
The World Health Organisation has approved three antiviral drugs for treating Covid-19 patients so far, namely Remdesivir, Molnupiravir and Paxlovid.