The United Kingdom is now the first ever country to approve a COVID-19 pill! MHRA Chief Executive Dr. June Raine said about this world first that “This is important, because it means that it can now be administered outside of a hospital setting, before COVID has progressed to a severe stage.”
More precisely, we are talking about Merck’s antiviral pill meant to actually fight the COVID-19 infection as opposed to preventing it as the virus does.
This oral treatment was authorized for the first time ever in the UK with their medical regulator confirming that the medicine is “safe and effective at reducing the risk of hospitalization and death” as long as it is taken in mild to moderate doses.
British Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid raved that the Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics developed pill is a “game changer.”
“Today is such a historic day for our country, as the U.K. is the first country in the world to approve an antiviral medicine that can be taken at home for COVID-19.”
The medication was authorized after conducting clinical studies that showed it was efficient in reducing the risk of hospitalization or of death caused by COVID-19 complications by around 50 percent in the case of at-risk people suffering from mild to moderate infections.
The pill is called molnupiravir and it is set to become available for purchase under the name Lagevrio in the United Kingdom.
It apparently helps patients deal with the virus by interfering with its ability to replicate itself.
The MHRA (U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) said that “This prevents it from multiplying, keeping the virus levels low in the body and reducing the severity of the disease.”
Chief executive for MHRA, Dr. June Raine stated that “Lagevrio is another therapeutic to add to our armory against COVID-19. It’s also the world’s first approved antiviral for this disease that can be taken orally rather than administered intravenously. This is important, because it means that it can be administered outside of a hospital setting, before COVID has progressed to a more severe stage.”
Apparently, this new medication is the most efficient when taken really soon after testing positive.
This is because of its ability of tamping down on the body’s viral levels.
More precisely, it is recommended to take it less than five days from when the first symptoms appear.
The MHRA has approved the pill for all British citizens who have a mild to moderate case of COVID along with at least one factor of risk such as older age (over 60), heart disease and obesity, to just name a few.
The rates of COVID-19 infection are currently quite high in the UK with more than 1 million cases surfacing in the last 28 days only.
As per Johns Hopkins University, these are the second-most cases in the world after the United States.
According to a large study recently released, the infection prevalence has risen to 1 in 58 people or 1.72 percent.
Finally, Merck confirmed that their pill is still being evaluated in the rest of the world, including by the European Medicines Agency and by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.