Merck and Pfizer will soon debut prescription pills to treat Covid-19. And more drugs are on the way.
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to soon authorize a pill made by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, called molnupiravir, which reduces the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid-19 by 30 percent if taken within five days of the onset of symptoms.
Another antiviral pill, developed by Pfizer, may perform even better. An interim analysis showed that the drug was 85 percent effective when taken within five days of the start of symptoms. The F.D.A. could authorize it by year’s end.
Since the start of the pandemic, scientists have hoped for convenient options like these: pills that could be prescribed by any doctor and picked up at a local drugstore.
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