Merck’s COVID-19 antiviral pill is now approved in the U.K. : NPR

The United Kingdom says it is the first country to approve oral antiviral drugs to fight COVID-19. “This is important, because it means that COVID-19 can be administered out of hospital before it reaches critical stage,” said Dr. John Ryan, MHRA’s chief executive.

By Justin Tales / Pool / AFP via Getty Images


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By Justin Tales / Pool / AFP via Getty Images


The United Kingdom says it is the first country to approve oral antiviral drugs to fight COVID-19. “This is important, because it means that COVID-19 can be administered out of hospital before it reaches critical stage,” said Dr. John Ryan, MHRA’s chief executive.

By Justin Tales / Pool / AFP via Getty Images

Merck’s antiviral pill, which fights COVID-19 in adults with the disease, gained worldwide approval on Thursday, as the UK’s medical regulator announced that the drug could be used in “mild to moderate cases” in hospital. “Safe and effective in reducing the risk of entry and death.” .

The drug is a “game changer”, said Sajid Javed, British health and social care secretary. Developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. Oral antiviral.

“Today is a historic day for our country, as the UK is now the first country in the world to approve an antiviral that can be taken home for COVID-19,” Javed said.

The UK permit is based on clinical studies that show the drug has reduced the risk of hospitalization or death. About 50% of the At-risk adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 cases.

Medicine, also called molnupiravir. Sold in the UK under the name Lagevrio, it helps people deal with COVID-19 by interfering with the virus’s ability to replicate itself.

The UK’s Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, or MHRA, said: “This prevents it from growing, lowers the level of the virus in the body and therefore reduces the severity of the disease.”

“There is another treatment to increase our arsenal against Lagevrio COVID-19,” said MHRA’s chief executive. Dr. John Ryan. “It’s also the world’s first approved antiviral for the disease that can be taken orally instead of intravenously. It’s important because it means it can be given out of a hospital setting.” Before COVID-19 enters the critical phase. “

Because of its ability to reduce viral levels in the body, this drug works best when taken immediately after infection – preferably within five days of the first symptoms.

The MHRA approved the drug for people with mild or moderate cases of COVID-19, with at least one risk factor, such as obesity, heart disease, or those 60 years of age or older.

COVID-19 rates are currently higher in the UK, with 1.1 million cases in the last 28 days – the second highest in the world (after the US). Johns Hopkins University.

At the end of October, the spread of the infection increased to 1.72%, or one in 58 people, according to Interim results of a large study Who were released today.

Outside the UK, molnoperivir is still being reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency, according to Merck.

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