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World’s first anti-Covid pill is here: UK approves Merck's pill molnupiravir to treat patients

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Google Oneindia News

Britain, Nov 4: The UK government on Thursday approved the use of Merck's antiviral pill to treat Covid-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms. Thus becoming the first country to give nod to an antiviral that can be taken at home.

World’s first anti-Covid pill is here: UK approves Mercks pill molnupiravir to treat patients

"Today is a historic day for our country, as the UK is now the first country in the world to approve an antiviral that can be taken at home for COVID-19. This will be a gamechanger for the most vulnerable and the immunosuppressed, who will soon be able to receive the ground-breaking treatment," Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said.

The antiviral Lagevrio (molnupiravir) is safe and effective at reducing the risk of hospitalisation and death in people with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at increased risk of developing severe disease, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced today.

People (18 and above) who have tested positive to Covid-19 and has at least one risk factor for developing severe disease, are authorised to take the pills. It has to be taken twice a day for five days, as per AP.

Developed by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), Lagevrio works by interfering with the virus' replication. This prevents it from multiplying, keeping virus levels low in the body and therefore reducing the severity of the disease, the statement from the government said.

"This antiviral will be an excellent addition to our armoury against COVID-19, and it remains vital everyone comes forward for their life-saving COVID-19 vaccine - particularly those eligible for a booster - to ensure as many people as possible are protected over the coming months," Javid added.

Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, Chair of the Commission on Human Medicines, said, "In clinical trials, Lagevrio was found to be effective in reducing the risk of hospitalisation or death for at-risk non-hospitalised adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 by 50%.

The government and the NHS will confirm how this COVID-19 treatment will be deployed to patients in due course, statement added. .

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