New COVID Treatment Endorsed by FDA

New COVID Treatment Endorsed By FDA

( – As scientists learn more about COVID-19, new treatments and preventative measures are emerging. Recently, medications that could be taken at home to treat the virus have made headlines. A panel of advisers for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now endorsed one of the pills.

On November 30, the advisory panel voted 13-10 to endorse Merck’s anti-viral COVID-19 pill, molnupiravir. The panel made its decision despite the risks related to taking the medication. For instance, it could lead to birth defects in pregnant women. Experts who back the treatment have said women should take a pregnancy test before taking it.

Merck’s pill is far less effective than previously thought. According to its data, the company revealed it only reduces hospitalizations and deaths in high-risk patients by roughly 30%. By comparison, Pfizer has said its pill (not approved yet) was 89% effective.

The panel vote will likely lead to approval by the FDA. Dr. Lindsey Baden, Harvard Medical School Director of Clinical Research and chair of the panel, said the decision was very difficult, and they had “many more questions than answers.” That’s a bit concerning since they voted to approve it despite their uncertainty. The full FDA will now decide whether to approve the medication for emergency use.

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