GLOBE Telecom, Inc. on Thursday said the molnupiravir, an investigational drug used to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is now available on its HealthNow app.

HealthNow is a health app developed by Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (AC Health) and Globe’s 917Ventures. It gives users access to healthcare providers for teleconsultation and medicine deliveries.

“COVID-19 positive patients interested in molnupiravir may consult with a doctor on the HealthNow app to check eligibility,” the company said in an e-mailed statement.

Citing reports, Globe said that molnupiravir “helped cut the rate of hospitalization and death by half in a trial of mild-to-moderately ill patients who had at least one risk factor for the disease.”

The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the use of the antiviral pill molnupiravir for at-risk adult coronavirus patients.

FDA Director General Rolando Enrique D. Domingo said in a news briefing in December that the emergency use authorization was granted to the COVID-19 treatment pill under the brand name MOLNARZ® by a licensee of biopharmaceutical firm MSD, or known as Merck in the United States and Canada.

He said several other MSD licensees have pending emergency use applications, some of which are already being dispensed in hospitals under a Compassionate Special Permit.

Molnupiravir, used for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 cases, may only be given to patients 18 years old and above with “risk factors for developing severe illness” such as senior citizens and those with comorbidities, the FDA official said.

Globe also said that HealthNow will soon offer home-service diagnostics. — Arjay L. Balinbin