Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – The Indonesian government announced on Wednesday that it had secured 400,000 tablets of the Covid-19 antiviral drug Molnupiravir, while also reporting that the country's total tally of the Omicron variant had jumped to 882 cases.
Indonesia is teaming up with Amarox Pharma Global, a subsidiary of India's generic pharmaceutical firm Hetero, to produce Molnupiravir.
"The Health Ministry has secured 400,000 tablets of Molnupiravir that have been prepared by Amarox," the government's Covid-19 spokeswoman Reisa Broto Asmoro told a press conference on Wednesday.
According to Reisa, Amarox is expected to kick off the domestic production of Molnupiravir in April or May 2022.
"The government continues to ensure the domestic supply of Covid-19 medicines to anticipate waves of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Among others by preparing new antiviral drugs, namely Molnupiravir and Paxlovid," she said.
Reisa reported, as of Jan. 18, Indonesia had detected 882 Omicron infections. About 276 Omicron-infected patients have recovered as of Jan. 14.
National health resilience
Last week, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin visited Amarox's manufacturing plant in Cikarang.
During the visit, Budi pointed out the need to strengthen national health resilience by producing pharmaceutical drugs within the country. Domestic production of crucial medicines will prevent Indonesia from having to rely on other nations when facing a pandemic, while also creating new job opportunities.
"We truly support the health system reform efforts in Indonesia. We are ready to produce crucial medicines for the people," Amarox Pharma Global country manager Sandeep Sur said in a recent statement.
He also expressed Amarox's commitment to helping Indonesia's Covid-19 fight. With the local production in Cikarang, Indonesia will not need to import its Covid-19 antiviral drugs, according to Sandeep Sur.