The United kingdom medicines regulator has approved the first tablet meant to treat symptomatic Covid. The Molnupiravir tablet will be administered twice a day to patients who have just been diagnosed with coronavirus. The drug, which was originally designed to treat the flu, was shown in clinical trials to reduce the risk of hospitalisation or deaths by roughly half.
The medication, according to Health Secretary Sajid Javid, is a “gamechanger” for the frail and immunocompromised.
“Today is a historic day for our country,” he said it in a statement, “as the United Kingdom has become the first country in the world to approve an antiviral for Covid that can be taken at home.”
The Very First- Ever Oral Treatment
The first dedicated oral antiviral medicine for Covid is Molnupiravir, which was developed by Merck (known as MSD in the United Kingdom ). The drug works by injecting errors into the virus’s genetic code, stopping it from proliferating throughout the body. And It works by preventing the virus from making copies of itself by inhibiting an enzyme used by the virus. As the virus evolves in the future, Merck believes it will be equally effective against new variants.
Clinical trials on 775 patients revealed the following:
- 7.3% of those who received molnupiravir were admitted to the hospital.
- This compares to 14 per cent of patients who were given a dummy tablet or placebo.
- There were hardly any deaths in the molnupiravir group, however, eight patients in the placebo group eventually died of Covid.
The information was released in a press release without being peer-reviewed.
According to the results of the trials, molnupiravir must be administered soon after the onset of symptoms to be effective. After disappointing findings, previous research in individuals who had already been hospitalised with severe Covid was terminated.
The Global Approval
Merck is the first to publish trial results for a tablet to treat Covid, although other companies are developing similar medicines.
Pfizer, a US competitor, has recently begun a late-stage trial of two antiviral pills, while Roche, a Swiss company, is developing a similar treatment.
Merck aims to produce 10 million molnupiravir courses towards the end of 2021.
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