Merck’s cheap Covid pill raises hopes for developing world


The global health agency, Unitaid, and its partners are negotiating an agreement with Merc & Co to secure the first supplies of an experimental pill (molnupiravir) for lower - and middle - income nations.

According to Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics’s interim trial results, molnupiravi, reduced the risk of hospitalisation or death by 50%.

“The results were so positive that Merck and Ridgeback - in consultation with independent trial monitors and the US Food and Drug Administration - elected to stop enrolling patients and begin the process of gaining regulatory clearance. Merck plans to submit the data to other regulators worldwide,” reported Bloomberg News (3 October 2021).

The company expects to produce 10-m courses of treatment by year-end, with more expected in 2022.

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