Highlights

  • Merck drug Molnupiravir likely to get Emergency use nod very soon'
  • Meant for adults at risk for progressing to severe Covid or hospitalization
  • "Final nail in the coffin of the virus by science": Dr Vishwakarma

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Oral anti-Covid pill may be cleared for use within days: report

Merck oral pill Molnupiravir is likely to get the Emergency use authorisation very soon in India, says Chairman of the Covid Strategy Group

Oral antiviral medicine for the treatment of mild-to-moderate Covid-19 is likely to get approval "within days", NDTV has reported. Dr Ram Vishwakarma, Chairman of the Covid Strategy Group, CSIR, told NDTV on Wednesday that the Merck drug Molnupiravir is likely to get the Emergency use authorisation very soon.

The medicine is meant for adults who are at risk for progressing to severe Covid-19 or hospitalization. Another pill from Pfizer, Paxlovid, may take some more time, Vishwakarm added.

The two drugs, he said, will make a difference and "as we move from pandemic to endemic, these are the ones which are going to be more important than vaccination".

Dr Vishwakarma called the drugs the "final nail in the coffin of the virus by science".

Also Read: What is Molnupiravir?

UK medicines regulator had approved Molnupiravir last week. The tablet will be given twice a day to vulnerable patients recently diagnosed with the disease.

In clinical trials the pill, originally developed to treat flu, cut the risk of hospitalisation or death by about half.

DR Vishakarma further said that medicine might initially cost "2000 to 4000 rupees per cycle of treatment, then it will come down to 500 to 600 or 1,000 rupees".

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