Merck claims its antivirus pills could reduce the death rate due to Covid.
In a recent clinical trial, the Covid treatment pill has proved to reduce the risk of death and the need to get hospitalized by 50 percent – Australia has taken one step closer to easing the international travel ban.
Merck, the Covid pill maker, states that the company seeks authorization to make their Covid pill called molnupiravir, publicly available. The medicine has effectively proven to reduce the symptom when tested on high-risk patients in their early Covid stage.
The pill Merck introduced first in the race of antiviral pills for controlling the pandemic. Experts claim it to be the most powerful tool to save many lives as it could reach a vast majority of people in the United States.
Stanford University’s infectious expert, Dr. Robert Shafer said, “I think it will translate into many thousands of lives being saved worldwide, where there’s less access to monoclonal antibodies, and in this country, too,”
Pfizer and Roche are also expected to release their antiviral pills nearly in the coming months.
For treatment, the Covid patient must consume the medicine in the early stage, 4 pills twice a day for straight 5 days.
According to Merck, the independent board monitoring in consultation with the FDA suggests stopping the trials as soon as possible after receiving compelling results.
In a recent news release, Merck said the independent monitors tested the pills on 775 patients, half were given the antivirus pill, and the rest received placebo medicine. Results showed that those given Merick’s antivirus reduced the risk of death and being hospitalized by 50 percent more than those who received a placebo.
However, 7 were hospitalized, with no death reports received for any. On the contrary, 14 volunteers got hospitalized, and eight deaths were reported who got a placebo.
The United States has already made a $1 billion deal with Merck for 1.7 billion antiviral doses.
Initially, it is expected that the drug will be approved for individuals who are 60 plus or have certain medical conditions as they are at high risk of death due to Covid. However, later it will be made available for the rest of the public.
After Remdesivir, which failed to prove beneficial for Covid patients, Merck’s pill is the second drug formulated for Covid treatment.