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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsMerck Finds Covid Pill is Less Effective Than Previously Estimated

Merck Finds Covid Pill is Less Effective Than Previously Estimated

anti covid pill molnupiravir-
Merck found its anti-covid pill to only reduce hospitalization by 30% instead of a previously estimated 50%. Credit: Image courtesy of Merck

German pharmaceutical company Merck said on Friday that its anti-Covid pill was found to be 20% less effective in a final analysis of a clinical trial.

The drug, called molnupiravir, was initially estimated to cut the risk of hospitalization and death by 50% when taken by high-risk individuals soon after they had become infected.

The Food and Drug Administration’s advisory panel will convene on Tuesday to review molnupiravir and decide whether they should recommend that the Administration approve the pill for emergency use for eligible individuals.

Merck’s initial result, which found the drug to cut the risk of hospitalization and death for high-risk patients in half, was found in a study that included 775 participants. Their new findings are gleaned from a trial that had nearly twice as many people, with 1,400 individuals participating in the study.

Despite the significant drop in efficacy, some experts are anticipating an emergency approval for the drug. Dr. David Boulware, who researches infectious disease at the University of Minnesota, told The New York Times that “The reduction in hospitalization is a little bit less, but there is still a big mortality benefit if you start early.”

Boulware said that the flipside of molnupiravir’s approval was that the treatment is likely to be considered a second choice to more effective drugs, possibly even Pfizer’s anti-Covid pill.

Pfizer’s anti-Covid pill 89% effective at reducing hospitalization and death

Pfizer has been developing its own oral medication for Covid simultaneously to Merck, and found the treatment to be 89% effective at reducing hospitalization and death.

The pill, called Paxlovid, has also been submitted for emergency authorization by the FDA. Pfizer officially completed its application for emergency use authorization last week, but it has not yet been announced when the agency will make a decision regarding the drug.

The company also signed a $5.3 billion deal with the United States government to supply its anti-Covid Paxlovid pills to the American people, according to a statement released by the pharmaceuticals giant. This is enough to supply a total of 10 million courses of its antiviral drug.

President Joe Biden announced in a statement that “While this pill still requires a full review by the Food and Drug Administration, I have taken immediate steps to secure enough supply for the American people.”

Like the coronavirus injections that hundreds of millions of Americans and other peoples around the world have received, the anti-Covid pills will also be easily accessible and free of any cost.

Pfizer noted in its statement that it will begin deliveries of Paxlovid pills before the year is out if it is authorized for emergency use by the FDA.

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