COVID-19 drugs are unlikely to arrive in Estonia before the end of the year | Coronavirus

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The oral prescription drugs Molnupiravir and Paxlovid are intended for patients with coronavirus in risk groups, who have a significant risk of becoming seriously ill. The medicines are intended for treatment at home and are part of an important public market of the European Commission, in which Estonia also participates.

The government decided last week that it would allocate 4.25 million euros to acquire drugs against the coronavirus, although the European Medicines Agency has not yet given its authorization for Molnupiravir. Another 15.83 million euros are expected to be invested next year, although the government cabinet is set to discuss the need for COVID-19 drugs and the cost of acquiring them in December.

The European Medicines Agency announced on Friday that EU member states may use Merck’s coronavirus drug before it is officially approved.

The ERR contacted the Health Insurance Fund and asked if Estonia plans to purchase the drugs before the EU joint purchase and if there are plans to implement the drug before approval of the the European Medicines Agency.

Erki Laidmäe, director of the Medicines and Medical Devices Department of the Medicare Fund, said Estonia may not receive its medicines this year, as originally planned.

“We are in contact with pharmaceutical companies and we have understood that it is probably not possible to have these drugs delivered to Estonia this year. It does not depend on whether or not we buy the drugs directly or whether we participate in the European Commission. For the moment, our direction is to participate in the joint purchase. The sales license is expected to arrive in December, but the drugs are unlikely to be available until January, ”Laidmäe said.

Medicines against the coronavirus will be prescribed and fully compensated for Estonian patients. “Therefore, doctors can prescribe the drugs to patients in risk groups after being diagnosed with coronavirus,” Laidmäe said.

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