(TheRedWire.com) – Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, pharmaceutical companies have looked for ways to combat severe illness or death. Governments and public health officials emphasized the use of vaccines. Still, in recent months, Merck developed an antiviral pill to treat symptoms if a person becomes ill. It’s been so successful the United Kingdom is the first country to grant conditional authorization for its use.
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Molnupiravir is a potentially game-changing pill authorized for those 18 or older who tested positive for COVID-19. UK health experts like that patients take the medication at home. To qualify for the drug, one must be at high risk for severe illness or hospitalization. That would include people who are obese or have other contributing factors such as heart disease or diabetes or are immunocompromised. Studies have shown the antiviral pill reduces symptoms and speeds up recovery times. It could also help ease hospitalization rates in developing countries where vaccines are less available.
Doctors believe the antiviral medication will be an important tool for those who don’t respond well to vaccinations. US regulators are reviewing Molnupiravir. In October, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a panel of independent experts would gather in November to research the pill and scrutinize its safety and effectiveness to deliver as promised.
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