PH Strives to Have More Access’ to Antiviral Pills in COVID-19 DOH Executive


PH Strives to Have More Access’ to Antiviral Pills in COVID-19 DOH Executive

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government is making efforts to “have better access” to the antiviral pill created through US pharmaceutical company Merck against COVID-19, in line with the regulatory process, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Monday.

“Siyempre …’pag may mga ganitong mga bagong produkto or investigational products, tayo naman po ay nakikipag-negotiate and we try to have that kind of position where we can access this kind of drugs,” Vergeire declared during a briefing for journalists online.


A DOH official was responding to whether the government would discuss purchasing Merck’s antiviral drug that is being tested to combat the new coronavirus infection. The pill is said to cut down by half the number of deaths and hospitalizations for those most susceptible to contracting COVID-19 severe.

“Siyempre may mga (There are) regulatory processes ‘yan, pero (but) definitely, if this is a game-changer and is really going to be of benefit to the population, our country, the national government will try to position to have better access to this drug,” Vergeire declared.

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As per her report, the nation has already conducted a clinical trial for oral medications to treat COVID-19.

“Meron na tayong trial na ginagawa ukol dito sa gamot na ito dito sa Lung Center of the Philippines. Makikita rin natin we have better access to these medications due to the fact that we have the clinical trial counterpart,” Vergeire said.


Merck & Co., Inc. is a worldwide health care business. The company provides health-related solutions via prescription medicines such as vaccines, biological therapies, and products for animal health. It is a part of two divisions: Pharmaceutical and Animal Health. The company’s Pharmaceutical segment is comprised of human health pharmaceuticals as well as vaccine products. Human health pharmaceuticals contain therapeutic and preventive drugs, typically sold on prescription to treat human-related disorders. The company sells the consequences for human health predominantly to drug wholesalers and hospitals, retailers, government agencies, and managed health care providers like the health care maintenance companies. Animal Health is the Animal Health segment that develops, produces. It sells a wide variety of veterinary pharmaceuticals and vaccine products as solutions and services for health management that aid in the prevention, treatment, control, and prevention of all diseases that affect species of livestock and companion animals.