U.S. to invest in COVID-19 treatments
Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday announced the country will spend $3.2 billion on the development of antiviral pills. The drugs could treat COVID-19 but also other dangerous viruses. Fauci said few treatments exist for viruses that could cause pandemics such as Ebola, dengue, West Nile, and Middle East respiratory syndrome.
What treatments are there? One antiviral, remdesivir, already has U.S. approval to treat COVID-19, but must be given intravenously. The U.S. previously said it would purchase 1.7 million doses of an experimental antiviral pill, molnupiravir, from Merck. Pfizer, Roche, and AstraZeneca are testing other antiviral drugs. So far, the United States has spent about half the amount of money on treatments for COVID-19 that it spent on vaccine development.
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