If you’ve spent any time in front of a TV of late, you’re likely to have encountered a serious and somber tone emanating from health authorities and the politicians that ascribe to them.
That’s because winter is coming, and with it a return to the indoors, where shared air and holiday gatherings could boost the coronavirus’ supply of victims.
But, just in the nick of time, the FDA has approved a simple, new treatment for the long-burdensome illness.
The US Food and Drug Administration on Thursday authorized Merck’s antiviral pill, molnupiravir, to treat Covid-19 “for the treatment of mild-to-moderate coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in adults with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death, and for whom alternative COVID-19 treatment options authorized by the FDA are not accessible or clinically appropriate.”
This is the second Covid-19 antiviral pill authorized for ill people to take at home, before they get sick enough to be hospitalized. Merck has an agreement with the US government for the company to supply 3.1 million courses of molnupiravir upon this authorization.Trending:
Molnupiravir was narrowly recommended by the FDA’s advisers in a 13-10 vote at the end of November after data showed it cut the risk of hospitalization or death by 30% among high-risk adults.
This was lower than an earlier analysis suggesting that number could be about 50%.
And, even better:
Dr. Eliav Barr, senior vice president of global medical affairs at Merck, told CNN this month that he was optimistic this treatment would work against the Omicron variant.
The advent of this latest, easiest treatment could help to reduce vaccine anxiety and the government’s overzealous reaction to it.