FDA authorizes Merck and Co's at-home antiviral pill for COVID-19
The US News reported according to Reuters, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday authorized Merck & Co's antiviral pill for COVID-19, after giving the go-ahead to a similar treatment from Pfizer Inc a day earlier.
Merck's drug, molnupiravir, developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, was shown to reduce hospitalizations and deaths by around 30% in a clinical trial of high-risk individuals early in the course of the illness.
The agency authorized the oral drug for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults who are at risk for severe disease, and for whom alternative COVID-19 treatments are not accessible or clinically appropriate.
The U.S. government has a contract to buy as many as 5 million courses of the drug for $700 per course.
The FDA said in a statement, the drug is not authorized for use in patients younger than 18 because molnupiravir may affect bone and cartilage growth.