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FDA advisers endorse Merck’s COVID-19 pill

Molnupiravir pills Merck & Co.

FDA advisers endorse Merck’s COVID-19 pill

Molnupiravir works by inserting tiny errors into the coronavirus’ genetic code to stop it from reproducing. By a vote of 13-10, an advisory panel to the U.S Food and Drug Administration said the drug’s benefits outweigh its risks but only for adults who test positive and are at high risk of severe illness. The panel’s recommendation does not bind the FDA, which will likely make a final decision later this month. Officials in the United Kingdom have already authorized the pill.

What are the drug’s limitations? Most advisers said only unvaccinated people should use the drug and that women who may be pregnant should not take it. Last week, Merck said final study results showed molnupiravir cut hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 by 30 percent. But Merck has not specifically tested it against the new omicron variant, and that uncertainty gave some experts pause. Rival drugmaker Pfizer also has a COVID-19 pill under review.

Dig deeper: Read Carolina Lumetta’s latest report on the omicron variant in The Sift.

Kent Covington

Kent is a reporter and news anchor for WORLD Radio. He spent nearly two decades in Christian and news/talk radio before joining WORLD in 2012. He resides in Atlanta, Ga.



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13-10, especially in this context, is not exactly a clear vote of support! But if this was truly a day of informed consent and true "shared decision making" this might be a reasonable therapeutic option for some. But we do not have this in our current EUA-Pandemic-Politicized-Fauciized situation.

FYI shared decision making is where we are at in health care today. It is the way things ought to be. When properly followed the doctor/PCP and the patient interact and discuss pros and cons, risks and benefits as well as alternatives of a proposed therapy. We do not have this now with COVID 19.