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Recent Trial Shows Merck’s Experimental COVID-19 Antiviral Pill Reduces Hospitalizations, Deaths by Half

Virus Outbreak Treatment Merck
This undated image provided by Merck & Co. shows their new antiviral medication. Pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. said Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, that its experimental COVID-19 pill reduced hospitalizations and deaths by half in people recently infected with the coronavirus and that it would soon ask health officials in the U.S. and around the world to authorize its use. (Merck & Co. via AP)

Drug developer Merck stated its experimental COVID-19 pill cut fatalities and admissions to the hospital by half in individuals who recently tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Merck on Friday, it will ask United States and global health officials to allow the usage of the pill. A decision from the US Food and Drug Administration may arrive within weeks following such. In the event of its authorization, the drug would be the first pill as a treatment to the novel coronavirus.

Molnupiravir

Merck stated its drug Molnupiravir is an antiviral that diminishes the susceptibility of hospitalization and death in COVID-19 patients by half. (Photo: Merck)

Molnupiravir

The drug is named molnupiravir that prevents the virus from replicating. This alleviates it from becoming prevalent throughout the body.  According to Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, initial results displayed that patients who received the pill within five days of COVID-19 symptoms had an estimated half the rate of deaths and hospitalizations in contrast to those who were administered a fake treatment. The authorization would be a potentially significant advance in efforts to combat the global health crisis.

Due to the favorable outcomes, the third place of the trial is halted early as advised by outside monitors. According to Merck chief executive officer Robert Davis, “This is going to change the dialogue around how to manage COVID-19,” reported The Straits Times. Molnupiravir is designated to introduce errors into the virus’ genetic code.

Rivals of Merck’s Pill

Rivals include Roche Holding and Pfizer, which are racing to create an easy-to-administer antiviral pill against COVID-19. However, merely antibody cocktails are approved as a treatment for COVID-19 patients outside the hospital.

Read Also: CDC Advises Pregnant Women to Receive COVID-19 Vaccines

To Ease the Workload for Health Care Professionals

All COVID-19 therapies currently allowed in the United States require an IV or injection. In contrast, a pill that can be taken home could keep numerous patients out of the hospital. This will relieve the workload on overworked health care workers. Also, it could help mitigate outbreaks in lower-income nations that do not have access to more costly infusion therapies, reported 11 Alive.

According to Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, “This would allow us to treat many more people much more quickly and, we trust, much less expensively,” reported ABC News.

Related Article: COVID-19 Unemployment: Unvaccinated Healthcare Workers Fired, Suspended