New York Times: Everything you need to know about Merck’s new Covid Treatment Pill
Merck announced that their pill reduced the risk of hospitalization and death by 50% in recent clinical trials. The pill is designed to be taken during the first few days of a COVID-19 infection. During this period, the virus is replicating quickly, but the immune system has not yet responded. Notably, the pill does have lower effectiveness than monoclonal antibodies; which are used to treat high-risk patients before going to the hospital. However, the pill will hopefully have a larger reach than these antibodies treatments, which is why the company is pushing for emergency authorization from the FDA. The US government has already made an order for 1.7 million courses of the treatment, and the company expects to be able to make around 10 million courses by the end of the year. To read more about distribution go here and here to find out more about the way the antiviral drug works.