No molnupiravir: ICMR team

It says drug is not of much benefit in COVID-19 treatment

January 11, 2022 11:05 pm | Updated January 12, 2022 12:23 am IST - New Delhi

Molnupiravir got the Drug Regulator General of India’s approval on Dec. 28.

Molnupiravir got the Drug Regulator General of India’s approval on Dec. 28.

The ICMR’s National Task Force for COVID-19 has decided against including antiviral drug molnupiravir in the Clinical Management Protocol for COVID-19 as of now, official sources said on Tuesday.

The experts of the task force cited safety concerns, and argued that Molnupiravir was not of much benefit in COVID treatment to arrive at the decision in a meeting held on Monday.

According to the Health Ministry, Molnupiravir is an antiviral drug that inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication by viral mutagenesis. This anti-COVID pill got the Drug Regulator General of India’s approval on December 28 for restricted use in emergencies. Mutagenesis is a process by which the genetic information of an organism is changed by the production of mutation.

“Members of the National Task Force for COVID-19 were not in favour of including the drug in the national treatment guidelines citing that it does not have much benefit in the treatment of coronavirus infection and that there were safety concerns,” an official source said.

Indian Council of Medical Research chief Balram Bhargava had said Molnupiravir had major safety concerns. He added that the World Health Organization and the U.K. had not included it for treatment. He said this drug could cause defects in a developing foetus and could damage the muscles also.

“Contraception will have to be done for three months for male and female if this drug is given because the child born could be problematic due to teratogenic influence,” he said.

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