Govt Approved Medicine For Curing Covid-19 May Cost Rs 3000 For Full Treatment

The drug is developed by MSD and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.

A full treatment of Molnupiravir, an antiviral drug approved by the Drug Controller General of India for emergency use, will likely cost between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000.

The drug is developed by MSD and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.


Pricing Strategy

American pharmaceutical company Merck (MSD) said that it will take a tiered pricing approach based on World Bank data of countries’ ability to afford such medications.

It has signed non-exclusive voluntary licensing pacts with established Indian generic makers to manufacture, distribute and market the drug which would result in subsidised costs.

Some of them are Torrent, Cipla, Sun Pharma, Dr. Reddy’s, Natco, Mylan, Hetero, and Optimus.

However, none of them have shared pricing details.

Course Of Treatment

The recommended dose of the medicine is 800 mg twice a day for five days- four times in the morning and four times at night.

Since the companies will sell 200 mg capsules, a patient will need to swallow 40 of them during the course of the treatment.

Who Should Avoid It?

It should not be used for patients less than 18 years of age and for those who require immediate hospitalisation due to the virus.

However it can be continued in patients if the treatment was initiated before hospitalisation. 

It is also not authorized to be used for more than five consecutive days.


Optimus Pharma has observed highly promising results of the drug’s ability to reduce viral load and results in significant symptomatic improvement.

Merck reported that its pill cuts rates of hospitalisation and death by 50% if taken within five days of onset of infection.

However, subsequent studies show an efficacy of 30%.


At least 6 of the 13 brands of Molnupiravir will come out by next week– from Natco Pharma, JB Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals (JBCPL), Hetero Drugs, Mankind Pharma, Viatris (formerly Mylan), and Sun Pharma.

Pune pharmacists have said that they are expecting to receive stocks by January 3.

The companies have started sending literature related to the drug to doctors.

Clinical Trials

Safety trials of the drug will be conducted on 1,000 patients.

The details of this clinical trial has to be submitted within three months, as per norms set by India’s drug regulator.

A condition to be fulfilled to gain the regulator’s permission for manufacture and marketing of the drug is to submit periodic safety update reports as part of post marketing surveillance.

The companies have also been asked to continue studies on stability.

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