Merck Asks FDA for Emergency Approval of Antiviral COVID-19 Pill

Headline Roundup October 11th, 2021

Pharmaceutical drugmaker Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced Monday that it has asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency approval of its COVID-19 pill. The company says the pill, called molnupiravir, reduced the risk of hospitalization or death in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 by about 50% in a late-stage clinical trial. Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta created the pill; using the pill involves taking several twice a day for five days. The Biden administration committed $3.2 billion to the development of an antiviral in June.

The news was covered prominently across the spectrum, especially by left- and center-rated outlets. Some reports from right-rated sources highlighted advocates who say the treatment's projected price — roughly $700 — is roughly 40 times the production cost.

From the Center
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The announcement that a pill from Merck and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics kept Covid patients out of the hospital made headlines and moved stocks late last week. But as is so often true when data are released by press release, there are still many questions left unanswered.

Doctors are excited about the medicine, molnupiravir, because a regimen of pills, even one that involves taking several pills twice a day for five days, should be far easier to deliver to patients than current antiviral Covid-19 treatments, which must be given intravenously. But it’s still...

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From the Right
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Pharmaceutical giant Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced Monday that it has asked the Food and Drug Administration for emergency approval of its COVID-19 pill after the experimental drug showed “compelling results” in clinical trials.

The pill, called molnupiravir, cut the risk of hospitalization or death in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 by about 50 percent in a late-stage trial, according to data from a phase three clinical trial shared earlier this month.

“The extraordinary impact of this pandemic demands that we move with unprecedented urgency, and that is what our...

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From the Left
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Pharmaceutical companies Merck & Co. and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced Monday the submission of emergency use authorization to the Food and Drug Administration for molnupiravir, an antiviral drug that offers the promise that COVID-19 could soon be treated by a pill.

Molnupiravir, an orally ingested antiviral pill, is used to treat mild to moderate adult cases of COVID-19 that are at risk of worsening to severe COVID-19 or hospitalization, according to the companies. It was created by researchers at Emory University in Atlanta and is given as four pills taken twice a day for five days.

An interim analysis from a clinical trial found the...

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