COVID-19 pill cuts risk of hospitalization, death by half, Merck says

Signage outside Merck & Co. headquarters in Kenilworth, New Jersey.

Signage outdoors Merck & Co. headquarters in Kenilworth, New Jersey.

Christopher Occhicone/Bloomberg by way of Getty Pictures

For probably the most up-to-date information and details about the coronavirus pandemic, go to the WHO and CDC web sites.

Merck on Friday mentioned its experimental antiviral tablet for COVID-19 reduces the risk of hospitalization or death by roughly half, in line with an interim evaluation of its medical trial. The drug maker plans to hunt emergency authorization from the Meals and Drug Administration and different regulators “as quickly as potential,” the corporate mentioned in a launch. 

If authorized, the drug can be the primary antiviral tablet for treating COVID-19. The only other antiviral drug approved by the FDA to deal with COVID-19 is remdesivir, which have to be administered by IV or injection. 

Merck and its accomplice Ridgeback Biotherapeutics mentioned early outcomes confirmed that high-risk adults who took the tablet, referred to as molnupiravir, inside 5 days of growing COVID-19 signs had been roughly 50% much less more likely to be hospitalized or die, in contrast with sufferers who acquired a placebo. The medical trial included 775 adults with gentle to average COVID-19 who additionally had at least one risk factor, equivalent to weight problems or coronary heart illness.

Final month, knowledge from Johns Hopkins confirmed that around 1 in 500 Americans have died from the coronavirus. Whereas the accessible COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective, hundreds of thousands of American haven’t but gotten a shot. As of July, unvaccinated folks have account for nearly all hospitalizations and deaths within the US.

Extra to return. 

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