Merck’s COVID-19 Antiviral Pill is the second pill licensed by the Food and Drug Administration

Pfizer’s COVID-19 antiviral pills will already have some competition in the United States. Like News agency According to reports, the US Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorization for Merck’s Molnupiravir contraceptive pill. Treatment limits SARS-CoV-2 replication by introducing “errors” into the virus’s genetic code while infections are relatively small, ideally preventing mild or moderate cases from becoming severe in high-risk patients.

However, the drug may not get as much use as Pfizer’s Paxlovid. Merck’s offer will only be available to those 18 or older versus Pfizer’s 12, as there are concerns it may affect bone and cartilage growth in younger patients. There are also warnings against using it during pregnancy or while trying to conceive – the FDA said people should use contraception during and after treatment, with women waiting days and men waiting three months.

Molnupiravir also does not appear to be as effective as Paxlovid. While Pfizer’s solution reduced hospitalization and death by up to 90 percent, Merck managed only 30 percent. This pill may become a secondary option, particularly in situations where baxlovid is not available. The two companies’ products are expected to remain effective against the virus-specific Omicron variant because they do not target the mutated spike proteins.

However, this may become another useful tool to reduce COVID-19 hospital admissions and deaths. Pfizer’s pills will be most available when the United States orders enough to treat 10 million patients, but there will be enough Merck to treat 3.1 million patients. Even if the efficacy is limited, hundreds of thousands of people could spare the worst that the disease has to offer.

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