The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized Merck’s Covid-19 pill “molnupiravir” on Thursday. This came after the FDA approved Pfizer’s antiviral pill “Paxlovid” Wednesday, allowing Americans to have two different pills to treat Covid-19 patients.
Merck’s molnupiravir is shown to reduce the risk of a patient’s hospitalization and death by 30 percent. The drug was known to be up to 50 percent efficacious in early clinical trials, but its efficacy declined in the final tests. As molnupiravir is not as efficacious as it was originally suggested, and has a higher risk of side-effect, Paxlovid, which reduces the risk of hospitalization and death by up to 90 percent, will likely be used more widely than the former. France recently cancelled pre-orders of 50,000 molnupiravir pills.
The U.K. Health and Safety Agency said Thursday, “Even after completion of the two-dose regimen followed by a booster shot, the vaccine’s protective efficacy was shown to be sharply decline after 10 weeks,” citing studies conducted by Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh.