Merck Drug Becomes World’s 1st Pill for Covid Treatment, UK Gives A Heads Up
On Thursday, an antiviral medication molnupiravir has been approved for the treatment of mild-to-moderate Covid-19 in adults with a positive SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test and who have at least one risk factor for developing severe illness by The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency(MHRA).
The risk factors include obesity, older age(above 60 years old), diabetes milletus and heart disease.
According to MHRA, the use of molnupiravir is effective when taken within five days of symptoms onset. It said based on clinical trial data, the drug is found to be most effective when taken during the early stages of the infection.
The approval follows a rigorous review of its safety, quality and effectiveness by the UK regulator and the government’s independent expert scientific advisory body, the Commission on Human Medicines, the MHRA said.
“This will be a gamechanger for the most vulnerable and the immunosuppressed, who will soon be able to receive the ground-breaking treatment,” said Sajid Javid, secretary of health and social care at the UK government.
Developed by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), Lagevrio (molnupiravir) works by interfering with the virus’ replication. This prevents it from multiplying, keeping virus levels low in the body and, therefore, reducing the severity of the disease.