Mr Leon Perera asked the Minister for Health (a) whether the Ministry can provide an update on COVID-19 anti-viral treatments currently under evaluation by HSA, including SaNOtize’s nitric oxide nasal spray; and (b) what is the Ministry’s evaluation of the likely impact of the successful registration and dissemination of COVID-19 therapies currently being evaluated on (i) ICU capacity and (ii) post-COVID-19 easing measures.
Mr Ong Ye Kung: Singapore has been closely tracking the development of COVID-19 treatments globally and actively engaging pharmaceutical companies to secure supplies of key therapeutics. To date, we have built up a portfolio of COVID-19 therapeutics comprising five classes of drugs – steroids, anti-virals, monoclonal antibodies, IL-6 inhibitors and JAK inhibitors. These are currently in use in our hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients with severe disease.
HSA is currently reviewing the data for recently developed oral anti-virals Molnupiravir and Paxlovid, to ensure that they meet the requirements for quality, safety and efficacy for interim authorisation for use in Singapore. No regulatory filing has been received for SaNOtize’s nitric oxide nasal spray.
The use of therapeutics reduces the risks of developing severe disease in COVID-19 patients, which consequently reduces the need for hospitalisation, oxygen supplementation and intensive care.
Notwithstanding the use of treatments, a large number of COVID-19 cases could still result in a significant number of individuals requiring hospitalisation or intensive care, and place significant pressure on our healthcare system. It is therefore important that we prevent transmission through vaccines and safe management measures.
Ministry of Health
12 January 2022