Recommended Sponsor - Buy Original Artwork Directly from the Artist

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Merck Sharp & Dohme (New Zealand)
Merck Sharp & Dohme (New Zealand) Limited (MSD) today announced that LAGEVRIO (molnupiravir) an oral antiviral treatment for adults with mild to moderate COVID-19, is available in New Zealand for those who meet the access criteria. 1,3.

Merck Sharp & Dohme New Zealand Managing Director, Paul Smith, says “New Zealanders who are at risk of progressing to severe COVID-19, hospitalisation or death, will be able to access this oral antiviral treatment.

“It means eligible adult patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 disease can be treated at home which is a win-win-win for these patients, the community, and our hospital system.

“LAGEVRIO is available for certain eligible patients, free of charge. Funding is targeted towards patients most at risk of developing severe disease. 2

“LAGEVRIO must be started within five days of symptom onset. LAGEVRIO is taken twice daily for five days (four capsules every 12 hours, for example, at 8 am and at 8 pm) with or without food. 3 ”

Mr Smith adds, “Vaccination is still the number one line of defence against COVID-19, but we need multiple tools, including treatments for those who are at high risk of progression to severe disease. 4

“We believe there will be significant demand for LAGEVRIO, so we are using our global network which includes manufacturing sites in nine countries across three continents. We’ve put in place a supply chain that incorporates the largest manufacturing capacity in our company history. Because of these measures, we anticipate that we will be able to meet the global demand. 5

“MSD is proud to have worked closely with the New Zealand Government and its agencies to provide access to LAGEVRIO and provide an additional line of defence in the fight against COVID-19.”

To find out more about LAGEVRIO and whether you could be eligible; speak to your doctor.

Lagevrio® (molnupiravir) is a Prescription Medicine and is available as 200 mg capsules.

Additional product information and the Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) is available at

Lagevrio is used to treat mild to moderate coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in adults who are at risk for progressing to severe COVID-19, hospitalisation, or death.

Do not take Lagevrio if you are allergic to molnupiravir or any of the other ingredients.

Lagevrio is not recommended in pregnancy. Discuss the need for a pregnancy test with your doctor if you are of childbearing potential and sexually active. If you can become pregnant, you should use effective birth control while you are taking Lagevrio and for 4 days after the last dose of Lagevrio. If you are a male who is sexually active with a partner who has the potential to become pregnant, use a reliable method of contraception during treatment and for 3 months after the last dose of Lagevrio.

Breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment and for 4 days after the last dose of Lagevrio.

Allergic reactions can happen in people taking Lagevrio. Stop taking Lagevrio and call your healthcare professional right away if you get any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction: hives, rapid heartbeat, trouble swallowing or breathing, swelling of the mouth, lips, or face, throat tightness, hoarseness, skin rash.

The most common side effects of Lagevrio in adults are diarrhoea, nausea, and dizziness.

Based on CMI dated April 2022

Lagevrio has risks and benefits. Talk to your doctor to see if Lagevrio is right for you.

Use strictly as directed. If symptoms continue or you have side effects, see your doctor, pharmacist or healthcare professional.

Lagevrio is a fully funded medicine for certain adult patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 – restrictions apply.

Merck Sharp & Dohme (New Zealand) Limited. Level 3, 123 Carlton Gore Road, Newmarket, Auckland.


1. Pharmac Special Authority Criteria Last accessed 20 April 2022
2. Pharmac Online Pharmaceutical Schedule May 2022
3. LAGEVRIO Data Sheet April 2022
4. Minister of Health Media Release December 2021 NZ Secures New Pfizer Covid-19 Medicine
5. MSD data on file LAGEVRIO Manufacturing Capacity Last accessed April 2022

About MSD

At MSD, known as Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA in the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than 130 years, we have brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. We aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world – and today, we are at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals. We foster a diverse and inclusive global workforce and operate responsibly every day to enable a safe, sustainable and healthy future for all people and communities. For more information, visit and connect with us on Twitter @MSDNewZealand