Molnupiravir: Australia Secures 300,000 Doses of the COVID Antiviral Pill
It is expected to become the first oral antiviral medication that can treat COVID-19.
Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination seems to be going smoothly. About 57 per cent of Aussies over the age of 16 have been vaccinated, and the number is growing fast. To make things better for the citizens, Australia has added an antiviral drug called molnupiravir to its armoury as a weapon to fight COVID-19 and has secured 300,000 doses of it. What is molnupiravir? Read on to know.
What Is Molnupiravir?
Molnupiravir is a drug that helps treat influenza. It is expected to become the first oral antiviral medication that can treat COVID-19. An infected person has to take four pills of this tablet twice daily for five days. It works by causing genetic mutations that can confuse the virus. It is suited for only those patients who don’t need hospitalisation.
Is Molnupiravir any good?
According to Merck, the manufacturer of Molnupiravir, the tablet can help reduce the risk of hospitalisation or death significantly for at-risk patients or have a mild or moderate infection.
Findings related to the same were published after a clinical trial that was organised to capture the data of 775 adult patients infected with COVID-19.
The interim results showed that 29 days after the treatment, 7.3 per cent of people needed hospitalisation, and there were no deaths. About 14.1 per cent of the patients who were given a placebo during the trial were hospitalised, and 8 patients passed away.
Sounds good, right? There is a catch. Therapeutic Goods Administration has not fully approved molnupiravir. It has given the provincial treatment now and is expecting to give approval early next year. A decision from the US Food and Drug Administration is also pending.
Why is Australia getting Molnupiravir?
Greg Hunt, the Health Minister of Australia, stated that vaccines and treatments work well together. He said, “Vaccines can prevent you getting the disease or seriously reduce the risk or consequences of it; treatments don’t prevent you getting the disease, but they can seriously reduce the risk of COVID becoming a life-threatening or a disease which requires hospitalisation.”
Hunt considers the drug to be safe and effective. He’s also been communicating directly with the CEO of Merck about it.
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