The government on Friday said all Covid-19 oral drugs available in Hong Kong have been tested and confirmed by the drug manufacturers as effective and safe, and comply with the relevant drug safety regulations.
The statement came after the Hospital Authority conceded that some Covid patients are being given anti-viral drugs that have expired. US authorities had adopted a similar move in January.
Speaking on RTHK, the medical director of the authority's infectious disease centre, Owen Tsang, said some of the drugs in stock were due to expire earlier this year but can still be used.
"Some of the drugs expired back in January or March. But the manufacturer did some tests to see the effects of the drugs, and so far, based on the initial situation, it seems that we can extend the effective dates of the drug," Tsang said.
A government spokesperson also stressed the expired drugs are safe for use.
“Applications for shelf life extension were submitted by relevant registration holders with scientific evidence and test data to confirm the effectiveness of the relevant drugs, which is also an established practice in the global pharmaceutical industry,” the spokesman said, adding that Hong Kong has enough Covid drugs in stock.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Lo Chung-mau said the government has no plans to add Moderna Covid jabs into its free vaccination programme for high-risk individuals.
The jab was recently approved for use in the territory.
Last updated: 2023-05-12 HKT 20:42