Netherlands opted out of purchasing extra doses of Covid medicine Ronapreve
The caretaker Dutch Cabinet decided not to use an option to order extra doses of Ronapreve, a medicine to treat Covid-19 recently approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The Netherlands is participating in the European purchasing route but will not also buy stock itself, sources close to the Cabinet told NU.nl.
Ronapreve can be used to treat patients aged 12 years or older who have a high risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19 but who do not yet need extra oxygen. The medicine reduces these patients' chance of needing hospital care. It also reduces the risk of death. Ronapreve can also be used preventively, making at-risk patients less susceptible to the virus.
RIVM director Jaap van Dissel recently told NU.nl that coronavirus medication like Ronapreve could mean this will be the Netherlands' last winter with a hard coronavirus lockdown.
According to the newspaper's sources, countries had until today, December 1, to register additional orders for the medicine. After that, manufacturer Roche could not guarantee that it would meet demand. Ronapreve is expected to hit the European markets early next year.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Health told NU.nl that the Netherlands already signed a contract with the manufacturer of a similar product that will be delivered in December. What product exactly, the spokesperson did not say. But in a press conference on Friday, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said that the Cabinet was considering buying Molnupiravir, pharmaceutical MSD's Covid-19 medicine.