Davao City reaches out to pharma firms manufacturing anti-Covid drug

DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the City Government is reaching out to pharmaceutical companies for the city to secure supply of anti-Covid-19 drugs once it is available to the market.

“As an update, with regard to medicines, we are already reaching out to the two companies nga napabalita nga dunay tambal (that were reported to have produced an antiviral drugs),” Duterte-Carpio said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio Monday, November 15.

The mayor did not specify the name of the drug companies.

But according to reports from the Associated Press, Pfizer and Merck had recently unveiled their Covid-19 antiviral pills, which are currently undergoing clinical trials.

Duterte-Carpio declined to provide details on the negotiations as the local government has no permission to disclose anything yet.

But she said the City Government is now taking steps toward accessibility to the breakthrough drug.

She said one of the companies already responded to their formal communication, through the help of Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr.

“We are now directly communicating with the distributor for the Philippines. Very promising gyud ilang ginasulti (Their response was quite promising),” Duterte-Carpio said.

The antiviral drug of the said company was already issued a compassionate use certification, she said.

The mayor also declined to provide a possible date for the arrival of the said drug to manage Dabawenyo’s expectation.

She also said they are also reaching out to the other company. But she said the negotiations would take some time considering their drug has not been given an emergency use authorization (EUA) in the United States.

Duterte-Carpio projected that the Covid-19 antiviral drugs might reach the city first than the 30,000 doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines that the city government purchased, which was initially targeted to arrive in the third quarter of this year.

“Naa tay gipamalit na bakuna (We had purchased vaccines), but of course we understand the delays because it’s a worldwide thing. But sa tan-aw nako, mas mauna pa ang tambal kesa sa bakuna na gipalit nato (But based on my projections, I think the medicines would arrive earlier compared to the vaccines),” the mayor said.

Meanwhile, according to the mayor, the city has already administered 951,686 first doses, achieving a 73.21 percent coverage out of the targeted 1.2 million herd immunity, while 875,080 doses were inoculated for the second dose, having a target rate of 67.31 percent.

Duterte-Carpio said the city is hoping to meet its target herd immunity before the end of 2021, as ordered by the national government.

SunStar Davao

SunStar Davao

SunStar Davao is Davao City's most sought after community content provider in both print and online. It is part of the SunStar news network in the Philippines. Sun.Star Davao started as a bi-weekly newspaper Peryodiko Dabaw in December 1985 by Elpidio G. Damaso as the so-called alternative press during the end days of the Marcos dictatorship. It started publishing five times a week the following year and was relaunched as Ang Peryodiko Dabaw on September 7, 1987, marking the entry of new investors and its use of desktop publishing, while its Davao City competitors were still using letterpress.

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