A study discovered that a tablet produced by the American pharmaceutical company Merck for the treatment of new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) reduces the probability of COVID-19 patients being hospitalized by half.
There is also growing hope that if this pill, which has been likened to "Corona 19's Tamiflu," is authorized by the health authorities, it will be a major changer in the Corona 19 scenario.
Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics stated on the 1st (local time) that they will treat 775 COVID-19 patients with mild or moderate symptoms with the oral antiviral medication Molnupiravir within 5 days after infection, according to Reuters and AFP news. They have carried out a phase 3 clinical study.
For 5 days, half of the clinical study participants got Molnupiravir tablets and the other half took a placebo (a phony medication).
As a consequence, only 7.3 percent of Molnupiravir-treated patients were admitted to the hospital after 29 days, and there were no fatalities.
Compared to the placebo group's 14.1 percent hospitalization rate, this tablet decreased the probability of hospitalization for COVID-19 patients by 50 percent, according to the firm. Eight of the study participants who were given the placebo died.
"Molnupiravir might be a critical medication in the worldwide battle to combat the pandemic," Merck CEO Robert Davis said.
"An oral antiviral medication that can cut hospitalization rates like this would be a game-changer," said Amerie Adalza, a Johns Hopkins University professor in the United States.
Merck stated that it will file for emergency use authorization (EUA) for the pill as soon as feasible with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and that it would accelerate the application in other countries as well.
Molnupiravir, if authorized by the FDA, will be the first COVID-19 tablet therapy. Pfizer, an American pharmaceutical firm, and Roche, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, are also working on oral antiviral medicines to treat COVID-19, although they are lagging behind.
Molnupiravir causes genetic coding mistakes in the COVID-19 virus, and its own study has proven that it is effective against all mutations, including delta mutation.
Experts emphasized, however, that the Merck tablets should be used in addition to the vaccination, not in substitute of it.