Merck Asks FDA to Fast-Track New COVID Treatment

Merck Asks FDA to Fast-Track New COVID Treatment

(NewsReady.com) – A US drug company has asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve a new drug to treat COVID-19 quickly. If government bureaucrats don’t delay it for years, the pill could be a huge step in fighting the virus.

On October 11, US pharma giant Merck submitted their new drug Molnupiravir for FDA approval. The company is asking for emergency approval for use of the drug in adults with mild to moderate COVID symptoms, and hopes to have it in the hands of patients within weeks.

So far, all drugs licensed for treating COVID-19 are injections or infusions. They work, but they need a lot of time and resources invested. Molnupiravir is a convenient pill that patients can take themselves, making it much quicker and easier to administer.

Since the pandemic began, doctors have been looking for a drug that’s so easy to administer. Now it exists, and it seems to work. In clinical trials, it cut the risk of hospitalization or death by half, and the trials team recommended stopping the test early so Merck could start the approval process more quickly.

If the new drug gets approved, that means potentially far fewer COVID patients will require hospitalization. That would reduce the strain on hospitals and mean treating more people as soon as they develop symptoms. It’s a potential game-changer. Now, it’s up to the FDA to grant the emergency approval.

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