He said Covid drugs should not be bought online for personal use as the drug is under special control and has been registered for use in emergency situations and should only be administered by doctors.
Anutin said authorities did not verify whether the drugs seized were genuine or fake, but were not registered and should be destroyed without being given to anyone.
“Covid patients for whom doctors have not prescribed Molnupiravir should not buy the drug on their own as it may put their health at risk,” Anutin warned.
After speaker Jessada’s Facebook post last week, Anutin cried foul and threatened to locate and arrest the seller of the drug.
After learning of the arrest, Jessada insisted people should be allowed to buy Molnupiravir to treat Covid as soon as possible. He said it would be a shame if the 80,000 pills seized were wasted instead of being used to save lives.
Jessada, who is well known for scientifically disproving many “urban legends”, is campaigning on his Facebook wall for the government to stop controlling Covid drugs, so that the drug is available in pharmacies like in neighboring countries. He pointed out that Laotians no longer fear Covid as they can buy Molnupiravir from pharmacies for just 300 baht per course.
Speaking at the same press conference, CPPD Commander Anan said police pretended to be buyers of the drugs through Facebook and Instagram accounts before asking for search warrants which led to the arrest.
Anan said the two online shops got the drugs from the same source, which was a house in Bangkok’s Wang Thong Lang district. The police searched the house and arrested the owner of the house after finding a huge amount of drugs. The owner of the house has been identified as Chaluarat.
She then implicated two other suspects, Prasert and Khanittha, who were arrested on Tuesday. Prasert was arrested at his home in Talinchan and Kanittha in Wang Thong Lang.
Anan said the three got the drug from an Indian trader, who mostly mailed the drug to them as a parcel.
Kiatphum told the press conference that not all Covid patients would need the antiviral drug, so they should believe in the treatment offered by qualified doctors instead of self-medication.
He said the Ministry of Public Health had distributed enough drugs to all hospitals in the country. He said the stocks of Favipiravir and Molnupiravir would be sufficient for another 14 days and the ministry was purchasing an additional 10 million Favipiravir pills, 20 million Molnupiravir pills and 80,000 vials of Remdesivir.
The FDA chief said it is illegal to import drugs from neighboring countries because they have not been registered with the FDA, so their quality and safety cannot be guaranteed.