FDA Authorizes 2nd COVID-19 Pill From Merck

In Summary

This is the second pill to become available to fight the deadly virus that has killed over 800,000 Americans.

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized a COVID-19 treatment pill from Merck, according to The Hill. It is the second pill to become available at a time when over 800,000 Americans have died from this deadly virus. 

The Merck pill was made with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics for adults who are at high risk “for whom alternative COVID-19 treatment options authorized by the FDA are not accessible or clinically appropriate.” 

RELATED: Merck Asks FDA To Authorize Pill Treating COVID-19

The Merck pill can be used if there aren’t any other options available, which is an indication that the Pfizer pill has demonstrated stronger results, according to The Hill. The Pfizer pill was found to decrease the risk of hospitalization or death in high-risk patients by 89% as the Merck pill had only a 30% reduction. 

The Merck pill is projected to be in greater supply as the White House said that three million courses of the Merck pill would be available in January 2022, according to The Hill. 

RELATED: COVID-19 Pill Reduces Hospitalizations and Deaths by 50%, Merck Says

“Today’s authorization provides an additional treatment option against the COVID-19 virus in the form of a pill that can be taken orally. Molnupiravir is limited to situations where other FDA-authorized treatments for COVID-19 are inaccessible or are not clinically appropriate and will be a useful treatment option for some patients with COVID-19 at high risk of hospitalization or death,” Patrizia Cavazzoni, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a press release. “As new variants of the virus continue to emerge, it is crucial to expand the country’s arsenal of COVID-19 therapies using emergency use authorization, while continuing to generate additional data on their safety and effectiveness.” 

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