After the Pfizer pill, Merck’s treatment was authorized on Thursday across the Atlantic. It reduces the risk of hospitalization and death by 30% among the fragile population, according to initial studies.
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The pill against Covid-19 from the Merck laboratory, intended for high-risk adults, was urgently authorized Thursday, December 23 by the United States Medicines Agency (FDA), the day after the authorization of a similar pill developed by Pfizer. “Today’s authorization adds a new treatment for Covid-19, in the form of a pill that can be taken orally”, explained an FDA official, Patrizia Cavazzoni, about Molnupiravir.
The medically developed by Merck can be taken within five days of symptom onset and reduces the risk of hospitalization and death by 30% among the fragile population. On Wednesday, the FDA cleared Pfizer’s treatment, marketed as Paxlovid, which reduces that same risk by 90%, according to early studies.
The Merck treatment, about which some experts are cautious, is administered with eight doses per day for five days. It works by entering the genome of the virus to cause mutations that limit its reproduction. The United States Medicines Agency has not approved the Merck pill for children under the age of 18 because it could affect bone and cartilage development. It is also not recommended for pregnant women, due to potential risk to the fetus, but doctors can ignore it if the benefits outweigh the risks.