GPO seeks raw materials from China to build up depleting stocks of antiviral drug

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The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) has contacted China to procure antiviral drug chemicals to make Favipiravir in order to treat Covid-19 patients in the country.

The GPO expects the raw materials to be delivered next week.

Dr Withoon Danwiboon, GPO managing director, said on Saturday (April 18) that currently, Thailand has only 200,000 tablets of Favipiravir, adding they need at least 1 million tablets to cope with the current situation.

“Therefore, GPO contacted China to procure antiviral drug chemicals to make Favipiravir in order to treat patients suffering from the Covid-19 virus in the country,” he said. “We expect the antiviral drug substances to be delivered next week.”

He said that GPO must test the production of drugs in three areas, namely stability, disintegration, and absorption.

“If the test results show that this set of drugs is effective, it will be sent to the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Medical Sciences to check the quality of the drug,” he said. “If it passes the standard, we will make the drug immediately.”

He added that it would take up to one year before the antiviral drug production starts.

“It is not considered too slow because the Covid-19 situation would prolong,” he added. “During this time, the GPO is trying to import Favipiravir from overseas to make sure that it will be sufficient for treating patients in Thailand.”