The notice came on Friday (July 15) and urged people to only acquire and use the drug, which can be used to treat COVID-19 symptoms, after consultation with a medical professional who can then administer the drug via appropriate prescription.
FDA Secretary-General Dr Paisan Dankhum confirmed the FDA was concerned when it learned that the drug was being sold online and that it has moved to investigate the various channels where it is being made available for sale.
Dr Paisan stated that the FDA has carried out suspensions and prosecutions of drug sales advertisements through social media and online store marketplace platforms previously to deny the acquisition of illegal drugs to consumers and to prevent drugs not registered with the FDA from coming into the country.
He added that the Ministry of Public Health has stocked up on molnupiravir in sufficient quantities for the treatment of COVID-19 in Thailand, but it is important to obtain the drug from the correct sources, namely public and private hospitals.
Dr Paisan confirmed that once a doctor has assessed a patient’s symptoms a prescription will be made in accordance with the COVID-19 coronavirus treatment guidelines as per the Department of Medicine 2019 Ministry of Public Health.
Additionally, Dr Paison issued a warning that the drug is not suitable for all people, especially pregnant women for whom the drug is forbidden. Likewise, adverse reactions to the drug must be closely monitored.
Dr Paisan concluded by warning that items acquired online could be counterfeit and unregistered which could cause harm to those ingesting it. This sceanrio could also then render the drug Molnupiravir futile as means to treat COVID-19 symptoms.