Merck's COVID pill: What we know about the antiviral's effectiveness, eligibility and cost Merck's COVID pill could soon be available to help those infected combat the virus. Here's what we know.

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Merck’s COVID antiviral drug mollupiravir could cut down on serious illness and hospitalizations.

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For the latest news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

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In form of Omron COVID Variants As it spreads across America, we may soon have more tools to fight serious infections. The US Food and Drug Administration is expected to soon approve the mollupiravir antivirus pill from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, following a recommendation last week for emergency use by an FDA advisory committee. A COVID pill from Pfizer FDA approval is also expected this year.

Merck said its pill can reduce the risk of hospitalization and death by 30% and can be taken orally at home. Vaccines can help prevent and contain the spread of the virus most dangerous strains, But if you do get COVID-19, you’ll want ways to fight the infection, including the possibility of a pill you can take at home. This is the goal of Merck and Ridgeback in developing their antiviral pill to fight the coronavirus.

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New data from Johns Hopkins University shows the US has 49 million confirmed cases and 789,745 have died from the coronavirus. While the available COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective, millions of Americans have not been vaccinated. Unvaccinated people are 10 times more likely to be hospitalized and die from the disease than those who are fully vaccinated, according to a September report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here’s what we know about Merck’s antiviral drug right now. We will keep this story updated as more details emerge. For more on COVID-19, here’s on the latest Vaccine Mandate, how you can Get Free COVID-19 Testing Kits soon more How to Get a Free Ride for Your Booster Appointment,

What is Merck’s COVID pill?

Merck’s antiviral pill may help people infected with the COVID-19 virus reduce the effects of the disease, whether you have been vaccinated or not. And the oral drug is expected to be effective against variants, including the new Omicron virus mutation.

However, antiviral drugs will not replace the need for vaccines. Health officials see the two working together to keep infections under control: Vaccines prevent infection and reduce the severity of illness if infected. Antivirals can reduce the effects of the disease, regardless of vaccination status.

Merck isn’t the only pharmaceutical company making an antiviral pill for COVID-19. But Merck’s pill is further in the process and could become the first antiviral drug that can be taken orally and at home with a prescription. (See below for more information about other antiviral medicines.)

According to Merck, a study of mollupiravir showed that it reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 30% when given to non-hospitalized adult patients within five days of their symptoms beginning. goes.

When will Merck’s oral tablet be available in the US?

The New York Times reported that the drug could soon be available if federal regulators don’t take issue.

On November 30, an FDA advisory panel recommended granting authorization to the FDA. In anticipation of approval, Merck said it expects to have 10 million courses ready by the end of 2021.

Is it just one COVID antiviral pill or a bunch of them?

One course of the drug would require taking molanupiravir twice a day for five days. In total, one course will involve taking 40 tablets.

Does swallowing a pill mean you don’t need the COVID-19 vaccine?

Vaccines and antiviral drugs may work together but serve different purposes. The purpose of a vaccine is to provide powerful protection to protect you from COVID-19. If you become infected, an antiviral medicine helps your body fight off the virus.

“The vaccine is our first tool to prevent hospitalizations,” said Dr. Jamie Meyer, an infectious disease specialist at Yale Medicine. “Some people might say, ‘I can’t get vaccinated because I’ll have access to these drugs,'” she said, “but you can’t trade one for the other.”

For example, chickenpox is a common virus that can be prevented in large part through vaccination. However, there are still cases of chickenpox that affect both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, and an antiviral drug may still be prescribed as a treatment. Taking that antiviral pill against chickenpox won’t stop you from getting blisters, high fever, itchy like crazy or getting contagious all over your body. It will not save you from stains either. But if you had not taken the medicine then it can help you recover faster in few days.

Will Merck’s antiviral treatment be free?

That’s the plan. Merck said the US government would buy 3.1 million courses of the drug to make it available for free when it is approved, as it now does with three approved vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

What do we know about eligibility for Merck’s antiviral pill?

In its trials, Merck’s molnupiravir pill was given to people who had not been vaccinated and tested positive with mild to moderate COVID-19 but were not hospitalized.

According to The New York Times, the drug may be available earlier to people who have tested positive and are at high risk of serious illness. The FDA and CDC will have the final say on who will be eligible for the pill.

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Antiviral drugs will work side by side with vaccines.

What do we know about the side effects of the COVID pill?

A Merck spokesman said the incidence of drug-related side effects during the drug trial was comparable between the group that received mollupiravir and those that took a placebo — 12% and 11%, respectively.

What are the other antiviral COVID drugs?

According to the New York Times tracker, another antiviral drug approved for COVID-19 treatment so far is: remdesivir from Gilead Sciences, which was approved in October 2020. The Times is tracking 32 other potential drugs in various stages of development and approval.

Unlike Merck’s medicine, remdesivir requires a health care professional to give you the medicine intravenously through a needle. Administering a single dose may take 30 to 120 minutes, and the drug is given once a day for five to 10 days, depending on the number of doses needed.

For more on COVID-19, here’s on the latest COVID-19 Vaccines for ChildrenWhat to know about Mixing and matching vaccines What’s up booster shots,

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult with a physician or other qualified health provider with respect to any questions you may have about a medical condition or health purposes.

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