Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic started, everyone has been looking for a possible cure for it. There have been numerous evolutions, right from vaccines to drugs. Today, we have Covid-19 pills by Merck and Pfizer.
Merck’s pill: World’s first pill for Covid treatment
The US pharma companies Merck, Sharp and Dohme (MSD) and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics developed a drug, molnupiravir, to cure Covid-19.
Its phase-3 clinical trials on non-hospitalized and unvaccinated adult patients had positive results. The results ensured that it can be beneficial for patients suffering from mild to moderate Covid-19 symptoms within five days of onset. It is also beneficial for ones who have at least one risk factor that worsens the situation. The risk factors included obesity, diabetes, old age- above 60 years.
Due to the positive outcomes, the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the drug on Thursday for treating the mild to moderate Covid-19 in adults who are reported positive. In addition, it should also be used to treat the ones who have at least one risk factor that could lead to severe disruptions. This authorization makes the pill, world’s first Covid-19 treatment pill.
MSD and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics are aiming to get authorization from other pharma regulatory bodies around the world. Reportedly, the US Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use Authorisation for their drug is under review. Additionally, the European Medicines Agency has begun a rolling review of the same.
The pill might reach other parts of the world provided it’s approved by the regulatory bodies.
Pfizer’s pill: Reduces risks by 89%?
After Merck’s molnupiravir, we have Pfizer’s PF-07321332. Pfizer on Friday said that its Covid-19 pill which is used in combination with a commonly used HIV drug reduces risks of hospitalization or death in high-risk adults by 89%.
The second antiviral pill in the race after Merck’s pill which has shown effective results in trials. If it is approved by regulatory bodies, it can prove to be revolutionary solution to this global pandemic.
The company’s data was based on a study of 1,219 adults who had at least one underlying health condition and were laboratory tested positive. A part of the participants were given a low dose of ritonavir, a commonly used drug to cure HIV. The reported results showed that out of 609 people, who were given a combination dose, there were zero deaths and six hospitalizations. However, the other batch of 612 people who weren’t given ritonavir dose reported 10 deaths and 41 hospitalizations.
Above mentioned results indeed were in favour of the combination dose of Pfizer’s PF-07321332 and ritonavir. It is also said to be much more effective than Merck’s pill.
The company’s shares rose by 8% in the morning trading, whereas, Merck’s shares saw a fall.
Which pill will make its way to the global pharma industry is yet to be seen.