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Health authorities hoping to have new covid-19 oral treatments for February

Mexico City, Mexico — President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says the two newly approved oral treatments for covid-19 will be available in coming weeks. On Wednesday, AMLO announced that the purchase has been made and that the government has a sufficient budget.

“It will be soon. We are rushing the purchase. The necessary medicine will be available for those who need them because it is not for general use, it is for the elderly, those who have a serious illness,” he said.

At the Wednesday morning press conference, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard stressed that the country will be the first in Latin America to have these treatments.

The Undersecretary of Health, Hugo López-Gatell Ramírez added that negotiations are underway and in February, the oral treatments of Monulpiravir and Paxlovid could be available in the public health sector.

“Not everyone who had SARS-CoV-2 infection, particularly now that there is the omicron variant that generally causes a mild disease, would not need to take this drug. In fact, it would be wrong for them to take it. (…) It is not that anyone who tests positive or has mild symptoms should take it. (…) It is not for widespread use, it is to prevent complications in people with a high profile of complications,” he explained.

In the case of Monulpiravir, the drug cannot be administered to pregnant women or to those with liver or kidney disease.

As they are new drugs under investigation, high-performance health regulatory agencies such as the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have not authorized these treatments for commercial use, only in emergencies, López-Gatell added.

“We are looking for a mechanism where the private sector has an outlet through use in the public sector, of course, for free. Let us not forget that the fundamental commitment of this government is that everyone has free medicine regardless of their affiliation with any institution or lack of such affiliation,” he said.