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COVID DATA April 1, 2022 INDIA: New Cases: 1,335 Total Cases: 4,30,25,775 New Deaths: 11 Old Unreported Deaths: 41 Total Deaths: 5,21,181 New Tests: 6,06,036 Total Tests: 78,97,70,958 New Vax: 23,57,917 Total Vax: 184,31,89,377 - India Travel Times.Com   [Estd: 1998]       * * *    Travel, More Travel, Travel Means A Million Things     * * *    
ICMR brings a jinx on Molnupiravir, the first covid drug
Is it carcinogenic? Does it produce teratogenicity? S-o-o-o many questions are being flung at Molnupiravir, the first covid-specific drug. Dr Reddy's and 12 other pharma companies are manufacturing Merck's drug in India. It makes its debut in the market next week. Dr Balram Bhargava, Director-General of the ICMR, told nerwsmen on Wednesday that the pill has not been included in the treatment protocol of the national task force as there are safety concerns! What are they?

NEW DELHI, Jan 5: Molnupiravir, the first covid-specific oral drug to treat the viral infection that will hit the Indian market next week, has safety concerns. The drug, priced at Rs 35 a capsule, is manufactured in India by Dr Reddy's and a few other companies with licence from American pharma giant Merck.

The drug disables coronavirus from replicating by disrupting its genetic code.

Dr Balram Bhargava, Director-General of the ICMR, told a media briefing on Wednesday that the oral anti-viral pill for covid, therefore, has not been included in the treatment protocol of the national task force. The drug has safety concerns like teratogenicity (harmful for foetus when administered during pregnancy) and mutagenicity (Mutagenicity refers to genetic changes. These are transmissible. Certain mutagens are also carcinogens). It can also cause damage to muscles and cartilages.

The ICMR chief said the US has approved the drug only on the basis of data of 1,433 patients showing 3% decrease in mild to moderate disease. Bhargava said that the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UK have also not included it in the national treatment guidelines.

The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) had last week given emergency authorisation for use of Molnupiravir as there has been a surge in covid cases in the country, especially of the highly contagious Omicron variant.

Merck has an agreement with Dr Reddy's and some other companies to manufacture and supply the drug in India. Dr Reddy's will also export the drug to other countries. In India, it has been priced at Rs 35 per capsule, a five-day course needing 40 capsules. It will be available in the pharmacies across India next week.

Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had said that 13 companies were allowed to make the anti-viral drug in India.

India had 58,097 new covid cases on Tuesday, the total so far going up to 3,50,18,358. The cases rose steeply from Monday's 37,379.

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