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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday morning issued an emergency use authorization for Merck’s antiviral pill for COVID-19, more than 12 hours after giving the green light for a similar, oral drug made by Pfizer.
Merck’s drug, named molnupiravir, was developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, and it was shown to reduce hospitalizations and deaths from 9.7 percent to 6.8 percent in clinical trials of high-risk individuals, according to the federal drug regulator.
The medication is designed to treat adults who are at a high risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19, the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. The oral drug can also be used in the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 cases in adults and for whom alternative COVID-19 treatments are not accessible or aren’t clinically appropriate, the agency said.
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