First COVID-19 pill treatment seeks FDA emergency use authorization
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Another medication to fight COVID-19 is on the road to get authorization for use by the FDA.
On Monday, the pharmaceutical company Merck asked U.S. regulators for emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 treatment called “molnupiravir.”
If granted, this will be the first oral antiviral treatment to fight COVID-19.
The clinical trial has wrapped up, showing promising results.
Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics are now seeking emergency use authorization from the FDA.
South Georgia Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Brian Dawson said it’s another good powerful tool to offer more options for the public.
“Just being able to get an oral medication that somebody can give you a prescription or bottle of these pills and you can start taking it on your own immediately, without having to undergo an infusion or injection or anything like that, that’s going to definitely offer a great deal of promises as we move forward,” said Dawson.
Dawson said it’s four capsules taken in the morning and four at night for five days.
Dawson said it’s designed for patients with mild to moderate symptoms.
In the trial, they also looked at who had at least one risk factor for bad outcomes from COVID — from age, to hypertension, diabetes and heart conditions.
“We’re very hopeful that not only will this be a new treatment available, the efficacy to be able to decrease those bad outcomes by 50% makes a real big difference. Particularly in areas of the country, and even the world for that matter, where people may not have access to get to the monoclonal infusions,” said Dawson.
Ultimately, this pill may ease hospitalizations and curb outbreaks.
It appears the clinical trials did not test it on those vaccinated, just the general population at higher risk.
It is unknown if it will be recommended or not.
It was also not been tested on those expecting.
Health officials continue to push for vaccines as the best way to protect against the virus.
You can read more about the treatment and clinical trial here.
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