On Monday, drugmaker Merck asked United States regulators to approve its pill for treating coronavirus in what would ultimately add the latest and easy-to-use weapon to the arsenal of the world against the COVID-19 pandemic. If cleared by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) – a decision that may come in some weeks – it would be the primary pill shown to treat the infection.
Merck asks US FDA to authorize promising anti-COVID pill
This undated image provided by Merck & Co. shows their new antiviral medication. The drugmaker has said its experimental pill for people sick with COVID-19 reduced hospitalizations and deaths. (Merck & Co. via AP)
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Furthermore, all other FDA-backed treatments against coronavirus require an injection or IV. An antiviral drug that individuals could take at home to reduce their virus symptoms and speed recovery could prove innovative, relaxing the crushing caseload on American hospitals and helping to restrict the pandemic in poorer nations with feeble health care systems. It would also boost the two-pronged approach to the outbreak: prevention mainly through inoculations, and treatments, by way of medication.
The COVID-19 Pill cut Hospitalizations and Deaths by Half
The FDA will analyze company statistics on the effectiveness and safety of the molnupiravir before executing a decision. Merk and its ally Ridgeback Biotherapeutic said they specifically requested the agency to authorize emergency use for adults which mild-to-moderate coronavirus who are at risk for severe disease or hospitalization. That is approximately the way coronavirus infusion drugs are used.
A senior vice president with the infectious disease unit of Merck’s, Dr. Nicholas Kartsonis, said that it is a pill, so you do not have to deal with the infusion centers and all the aspects of that. So, it is a very influential tool to add to the toolbox. Earlier this month, the company reported that the pill decreased hospitalizations and deaths by half among patients with primary symptoms of coronavirus.
Moreover, side effects were similar between patients who received the drug and those patients in a testing group who received a dummy tablet. Merk has not publicly shared details of different types of problems reported, which will be a crucial part of the review of the FDA. Top United States health officials continue to push inoculations as a great way to protect coronavirus.
68 million Eligible Americans Remain Unvaccinated
Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci said it’s much better to avoid getting infected from the virus than to have to treat the infection. Still, around sixty-eight million Americans remain unvaccinated, stressing the need for effective drugs to curb future waves and variants of infection. Moreover, the prospect of a coronavirus pill comes after other hopeful signs: new COVID-19 cases per day in the United States fell less than one hundred thousand on average for the first time in more than sixty days, and deaths are running at around seventeen per day, less than from over two thousand three weeks ago.
Furthermore, the average number of inoculations distributed a day spiked past one million, a surge of over fifty percent over the last two weeks, driven by the introduction of bolster doses and workplace inoculation requirements. Still, health officials are invigorating for another likely surge as cold weather drives more American people indoors. Since the starting of the outbreak, health officials stressed the need for a suitable pill. The aim is for something similar to Tamiflu, the twenty-year-old flu medication that shortens the infection by one day or two and reduces the harshness of symptoms such as cough, stuffy nose, and fever.
Three FDA-approved antibody drugs proved highly effective at cutting coronavirus deaths, but they are expensive, difficult to produce, and require health professionals and specialty equipment to deliver. Assuming FDA approval, the United States government agreed to acquire enough of the pills to treat 1.7m individuals, at a price of approximately seven hundred dollars for each course of treatment. Some health experts foresee several coronavirus therapies ultimately prescribed in combination to protect better against the worst effect of the virus.