Completing a course of a particular antiviral pill right after Covid diagnosis can reduce the risk of death and get hospitalized due to Covid by 50 percent – announced Merck and Ridgeback recently.
If the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) will authorize the newly formulated pill, called molnupiravir, it is going to be the first-ever pill that patients can take home to treat Covid under mild symptoms. However, a prescription would likely be required for getting the pill.
On Friday, the president and CEO of Merck, Robert M. Davis, stated to the “Good Morning America”, that “This is the first oral antiviral that will be available to combat COVID-19 and why that’s so important, if you think of it if you’re someone who is unfortunate enough to get the news that you’ve contracted COVID-19, this is the pill, you can take it home and will significantly reduce the risk that you either ultimately are hospitalized or more importantly that you would ever face the unfortunate outcome of death,”
“It’s really exciting,” said the dean and global health expert of the Emory School of Medicine.
Del Rio further said, currently, Covid patients have been asked to monitor their symptoms at home, providing them an effective medicine will “make a difference”
On Thursday morning, Merch announced that the Phase 3 results are so compelling that a monitoring board in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration recommended ending the trials as early as possible so that companies can seek authorization.
The complete data will be made available soon.
Davis stated, “This is an oral antiviral. So it’s a pill. You take it. It’s a five-day course of therapy and by taking the pill it actually inserts into the RNA of the virus and stops it from working and that really is the magic of how this works and really allows you to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death significantly,”
According to the sources, Pfizer and Roche have been working on the same kind of pill they planned to make available soon. As for now, Merck and Ridgeback want to get the authorization for the pill “as soon as possible” to start mass distribution.
The production for the Covid treatment pill has already started with the goal to provide 10 million courses of the pill by the end of 2021. The United States already signed a deal of $1 billion for 1.7 billion doses.
Molnupiravir is a pill formulated for treating Covid by reducing the rate of virus replication in the body.