PM orders immediate simplification of COVID-19 drug purchases

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COVID-19 treatment drugs containing the active ingredient Molnupiravir. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính has demanded the immediate simplification of procedures for buying COVID-19 medications.

He asked the Ministry of Health to help streamline administrative procedures for purchases, based on experiences in other countries to quickly make decisions about imports and use of COVID-19 drugs.

The Government leader also requested enhancing the management over drug prices, strictly dealing with speculation and smuggling, and creating favourable conditions for people to access and buy COVID-19 drugs.

Earlier, local media reported that when COVID-19 medications containing the active substance Molnupiravir officially hit the shelves of drugstores, not many people could buy them, since they failed to meet regulations like having patient certificates or doctor’s prescriptions.

Doctor Trương Hữu Khanh in HCM City said asking for doctor’s prescriptions before selling antiviral drugs is correct, but this rule has become too bureaucratic when it comes to COVID-19.

He explained that there haven’t been any regulations on which doctors are permitted to make this type of prescription.

Meanwhile, it will be too late if people have to wait for local authorities to grant patient certificates as the drug should only be used during the first days of infection. —VNS

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