Molnupiravir (Merck/Ridgeback) is the first oral drug shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization, death and viral burden in patients with COVID-19 and may be available soon pending regulatory approval. Molnupiravir is an important drug in addition to COVID-19 vaccines because it can be stored at home, and easily taken by mouth.
In a late-stage international clinical trial of Molnupiravir, 775 high-risk, unvaccinated people with mild-moderate COVID-19 were given the drug. The drug cut the risk of hospitalization and death in half regardless of viral variants. The drug was also shown in a separate trial to accelerate the clearance of infectious virus from the nose and throat, indicating that it may also help reduce the spread of the virus.
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