Merck’s COVID-19 antiviral oral tablet is the second FDA-approved drug TechCrunch

Pfizer Antiviral tablets COVID-19 there will be some competition in the US. As Related press report, Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authority for Merck’s Molnupiravir tablet. Treatment limits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 by inserting “errors” into the virus’ genetic code when the infection is relatively young, ideally preventing mild or moderate cases from becoming severe. important in high-risk patients.

However, the drug may not be used as much as Pfizer’s Paxlovid. Merck’s product will only be available to people 18 years of age or older compared to 12 for Pfizer, because of concerns that it could affect bone and cartilage growth in younger patients. There are also warnings against its use during pregnancy or while trying to conceive – the FDA says people should use birth control both during and after treatment, with women waiting for the day and men he waited three months.

Molnupiravir is also not as effective as Paxlovid. While Pfizer’s solution reduced hospitalizations and deaths by up to 90%, Merck’s only managed 30%. This pill may become a secondary option, especially in cases where Paxlovid is not available. Both companies’ products are expected to remain effective against the Omicron variant of the virus because they do not target mutant proteins.

However, this could turn out to be another useful tool to reduce COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. Pfizer’s drug will be most available when the US orders enough to treat 10 million patients, but there will be enough Merck’s drug to meet 3.1 million. Even with limited effectiveness, that could save hundreds of thousands of people from the worst of the disease.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Engadget.

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