March 3, 2024

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FDA Approved 2nd COVID-19 Oral Drug for responding to Omicron Challenge

FDA Approved 2nd COVID-19 Oral Drug for responding to Omicron Challenge


FDA Approved 2nd COVID-19 Oral Drug for responding to Omicron Challenge.

Following the emergency use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 oral tablets, FDA approved a similar drug developed by Merck on December 23, aiming to add a new and easy-to-use tool for the fight against the epidemic.

The antiviral drug Molnupiravir, jointly developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapy, is effective in reducing the risk of hospitalization and death by about 30%.

The FDA approved this oral drug for the treatment of high-risk patients with mild to moderate infections. .


Last month, an FDA advisory committee recommended Molnupiravir with a small majority. Some members of the committee raised concerns about the drug’s safety, including its potential risks to pregnant women and their fetuses.


The FDA recommended on Thursday that patients should use contraceptives during medication and continue contraception within four days after the last medication.

The agency stated that potential side effects of Molnupiravir include diarrhea, nausea and dizziness.


In a report to the FDA expert panel, Merck’s scientists said that they expected the drug to work on the Omicron variant because the variant contains similar mutations to other virus strains, but further testing is still needed.


Merck’s entire course of treatment consists of 40 tablets, each 200 mg, twice a day for 5 consecutive days. Patients should start treatment within 5 days of the onset of symptoms.

At an expert meeting in November, Merck emphasized the importance of patients completing the entire course of treatment in accordance with regulations.


Compared with Merck’s drug, Pfizer’s experimental oral drug Paxlovid can reduce the risk of hospitalization or death in patients at high risk of COVID-19 by up to 89%. The day before, the FDA approved Paxlovid for the treatment of high-risk people over 12 years of age.


Health experts have always believed that the introduction of oral anti-coronavirus drugs will bring hope to the end of the epidemic, because it allows patients to receive treatment at home without the need for professional injections or drips.

If these drugs are delivered in time, they will help reduce the pressure on the healthcare system in the anticipated Omicron epidemic.


The US government has purchased 10 million courses of Paxlovid at a price of 5 billion yuan, and they have also committed to order about 3.1 million courses of Molnupiravir.

According to the contract, the government can also choose whether to purchase an additional 2 million courses of medication from Merck.





FDA Approved 2nd COVID-19 Oral Drug for responding to Omicron Challenge

(source:internet, reference only)

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