The Government of Portugal has authorised an expenditure of up to 32.7 million euros for the purchase of anti-Covid-19 drugs this year, the Portuguese News Agency (Lusa) quoted a law published on Monday in the government gazette as saying.

The resolution of the Cabinet, signed by the Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa states that "given the evolution of the pandemic situation, it is important to ensure that the Portuguese State can acquire, during the year 2022, medicines against the COVID-19 disease necessary for the Portuguese public to have access to these therapeutic options for disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Lusa added that although vaccination against Covid-19 is the best way to prevent infection, the most serious forms of the disease, loss of life and long-term consequences, to "end the pandemic and return to a normal life, it is important to ensure that therapies are available to treat those infected".

Therapeutic options currently available to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection are 'monoclonal antibodies', 'oral antivirals' and 'immunomodulators'.

Seven marketing authorisations have already been granted, but access to these medicines can only be granted through centralised procurement procedures under the COVID-19 Therapeutics Strategy, which is managed by the European Commission, or through procurement procedures undertaken directly by each member state in line with the same strategy.