Vaccines will be the way out of the pandemic, but not everyone around the world is immunized yet, and the shots aren’t 100% effective in protecting people from getting infected with the COVID-19 virus. So antiviral drug treatments will be key to making sure that people who do get infected don’t get severely ill.
Merck announced encouraging results form a study of its COVID-19 antiviral drug, molnupiravir. In an early look at the data from a Phase 3 study, the company said the drug lowered the risk of hospitalization or death by 50% in those taking the pills compared to people not getting the drug after they developed mild to moderate COVID-19. Twenty-nine days after getting the drug or placebo, 7.3% of those receiving molnupiravir were hospitalized or died compared to 14.1% of people getting placebo.