Matthew Perot is the author
Washington (Associated Press) — The drugmaker Merck on Monday asked U.S. regulators to approve its pill against COVID-19, which will add a new and easy-to-use weapon to the world’s arsenal of fighting the pandemic.
If approved by the Food and Drug Administration—a decision that may be made within a few weeks—this will be the first pill to be proven to treat COVID-19. All other FDA-supported treatments require intravenous injections or injections.
A revolutionary antiviral pill that can be taken at home by people to reduce symptoms and speed up recovery is possible. It will reduce the burden on American hospitals as well as help to curb the spread of disease in countries with poorer health systems. It will also reinforce the two-pronged approach: prevention through drug treatment, and mainly vaccination.
The FDA will review data from the company regarding the safety and effectiveness monoprevir before making a final decision.
Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutic, Ridgeback Biotherapeutic’s partner, stated that they specifically requested the agency to provide emergency care for adults with mild-to-mode COVID-19 who may be at high risk of serious illness. This is how COVID-19 Infusion medication is used.
“The benefit of this pill is that you don’t have all the factors around an infusion center,” Dr. Nicholas Kartsonis said. He is senior vice president at Merck’s infectious diseases department. “I believe this is a powerful tool that can be added into the toolbox.”
The company announced earlier this month that the pill had reduced the hospitalizations and deaths by half for patients suffering from early COVID-19 symptoms. The trial’s results were so impressive that independent medical experts, who had been monitoring it closely, recommended ending the trial immediately.
Patients who received the drug had side effects similar to the ones seen in the patients who were given the fake drug. Merck has not made public the issues that were reported by patients, but this will be an important part of FDA’s review.
Senior US health officials recommend vaccinations as the best way of preventing COVID-19.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, speaking out about Merck’s drugs, said that “it is better to prevent you from getting infected than it is to treat it.”
This is despite the fact that there are still approximately 68 million Americans eligible for vaccination. This highlights the need to find effective drugs to prevent future outbreaks of infection.
Health experts have stressed the importance of a simple pill since the outbreak. Tamiflu, a 20-year old flu drug, is the ideal solution. It can shorten the duration of the illness by reducing symptoms like fever, cough and nasal congestion.