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Merck, their oral Covid pill trials. Reduce deaths by 50%.

From a few days ago.


  • Yes, caught that this morning. Looks very promising. Interesting that the pills are red.
  • Yes-the MAGA color. If the pills were blue, large swathes of the country might reject them as being part of a Democrat party plot to take away your freedom ! (partially snark)
  • Hopefully they developed a stupidity pill to go along with it.
  • Color indeed may be important.
    The stupid pill is the size of a 500 mg Tylenol, black in color and is impressed with the word, DEATH.
  • I was trying to be a bit subtle, at least for me. You guys are BAD.
  • I read an AP article regarding Merck's COVID-19 pill (molnupiravir) earlier today.
    When taken a few days after COVID-19 symptoms arise, molnupiravir appears to reduce deaths and hospitalizations by approximately 50%. The results were so strong that medical experts recommended stopping the trial early. Merck will be submitting trial data to the FDA in the coming days.
  • @hank- A stupidity pill is absolutely the last thing that's needed. I vote for an anti-stupidity pill.
  • Old_Joe said:

    @hank- A stupidity pill is absolutely the last thing that's needed. I vote for an anti-stupidity pill.

    I like that. They seem to be “anti” most every progressive idea anyway.

    Darwinism at work too - though I wish it were otherwise.
  • Since one has the choice to get vaccinated, this antiviral drug is only useful for the unvaccinated population. It is only 50% effective in preventing hospitalization assuming the patient takes the medication early when the symptoms appear. What if the patient is asymptotic and they would not able to benefit form this antiviral drug?
  • Hi @Sven et al. From the article:
    The U.S. has approved one antiviral drug, remdesivir, specifically for COVID-19, and allowed emergency use of three antibody therapies that help the immune system fight the virus. But all the drugs have to be given by IV or injection at hospitals or medical clinics, and supplies have been stretched by the latest surge of the delta variant.

    Health experts including the top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci have long called for a convenient pill that patients could take when COVID-19 symptoms first appear, much the way the decades-old flu medication Tamiflu helps fight influenza. Such medications are seen as key to controlling future waves of infection and reducing the impact of the pandemic.
    While I fully agree that this pill product may be directed more towards those who are not vaccinated and contract Covid; I'm inclined to believe that the pill would be used too, to treat "break through" Covid cases.
    A relative who is vaccinated recently contracted Covid from another vaccinated acquaintance. Before she had symptoms, she passed Covid to her B.I.L.
    Because she has underlying health conditions (one kidney and age 78) she received an infusion (IV) at her home with monoclonal antibody(s). This required two EMT's to schedule an appointment for this procedure. Obviously, a lot of busy work and cost with this process. If she could have taken several pills to perform the same preventive process; this would be a very large savings of time for all and allow the EMT's to be involved in more normal duties of an auto accident assistance or taking someone to a hospital who has had a heart attack, etc.
    My 2 cents worth.
  • edited October 2021
    Some data on treatment cost:
    New drugs like molnupiravir require more testing and review, but they offer the possibility of a stronger, more targeted approach. A drug like molnupiravir could be especially useful because it is administered in the early stages of the disease. Since it’s just a pill, it may spare the patient a trip to a clinic for a transfusion for treatments like monoclonal antibodies. That reduces the chances of an infected patient transmitting the virus to medical staff, and it averts potential complications associated with transfusions.

    And while $700 for a course of molnupiravir isn’t exactly cheap, a transfusion alone can cost $1,000, and that’s on top of the cost of the drugs delivered intravenously. A course of monoclonal antibodies can cost $2,100, while remdesivir can cost $3,100.

    The initial two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine cost about $50.

    I view the COVID vaccines as an effective and inexpensive, preventative measures while Molnupiravir would reduce the hospitalization and death in unvaccinated patients and breakthrough cases. This new medication has the advantage of orally administrated instead of intravenously (Remdesivi and antibody treatments).

    A second point to note is that we don't know the lasting protection against future infection with Molnupiravir mediation versus mRNA-based or adenovirus-based vaccines (at least 6 months). If Molnupiravir is merely as a medical treatment, then the recovered patients may get re-infected again at a later date.

    The last point is insurance coverage. For now COVID vaccines are fully covered by major insurance companies. It is unlikely the full amount of $700 for Molnupiravir will be covered by insurance without some co-pay.
  • Howey folks,

    I've said all along that eventually, we will ALL get Covid19. My hope and prayer was that they would develop vaccines and treatments . . . and they have. Merck's new pill is one of those and is great.

    Granted it will encourage the antivaxers, but you and I cannot fix stupid. However, Mother Nature said, 'hold my Chablis, I'll deal with this'. And she is. We seldom are witness to evolution in the human race . . . until now. We're watching Mother Nature cull the stupid.

    And let's face it people, are the antivaxers still even human beings or have they devolved into a sort of reverse missing link of subhuman animal. Yeah, I know but the only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to reason and when you deny science and facts and reality . . .

    Vaccines should be mandated for EVERYONE without a medical reason. Religion? Not without a note signed by God. Conscientious Objector. Fine. Go to jail like Ali did when he as a CO against the Draft.

    and so it goes,

    peace and wear the damn mask,

    rono's bad wolf side
  • Ali never went to jail.
  • Howdy,

    Point taken. Ali was sentenced to 5 years in prison and only avoided jail during his appeal.

  • Howdy again,

    BTW, Ali was not allowed to earn a living during his appeal.

  • edited October 2021
    Related: (Sorta)

    Received my Pfizer Covid booster shot today, a bit under 8 months after receiving the last (2nd dose). There’s a bit of confusion as to how soon those of us over 65 qualify for the Pfizer boister. But it is only 6 months - not 8 months as once believed.

    Easiest way for me was to walk in to a local Walmart and fill out the paperwork. No appointment necessary (although you can make one online). They were busy - so it was about 45 minutes start to finish before all was done. I also received an annual flue vaccine at the same time.

    Watched a good story on the PBS News Hour tonight about how the Univ. of Arizona and other schools have begun testing sewage at individual dorms to track down Covid outbreaks. I’m fully expecting the right wing-nuts will soon bring before the U.S. Supreme Court a “Shit Case” challenging whether government has the right to inspect our poop without consent. With the current makeup of the court, they just might prevail.


    “Poop becomes secret weapon to detect COVID-19 cases in dorm, says University of Arizona”


  • Good Grief!!
  • I’m fully expecting the right wing-nuts will soon bring before the U.S. Supreme Court a “Shit Case” challenging whether government has the right to inspect our poop without consent. With the current makeup of the court, they just might prevail.
    Europe has been tracking COVID-DNA remains in their sewage systems. Certainly this amounts to monitoring public health. By the way, these DNA remains are not infectious but certainly can be detected by the advanced PCR methods. Major universities in the States are doing that as well. I do not consider that is invasive but a wise use of today's technology just like to contact tracing method used in the early phase of this pandemic; and it was effective. The ability to identify the presence of COVID remains enable action to be taken before it spreads widely.
  • Michigan State U. grant and sewage testing in Aug., 2020.
    MSU received a $2 million grant in 2020 to develop a rapid and valid test.
  • Good for those who got their booster shot. Moderna booster was approved by FDA yesterday and J&J booster approval is coming soon. Testing on “mix and match” between the 3 vaccines in US is highly encouraging. FDA approval is sometime away.

    Had a neighbor who received the third Pfizer shot (not booster) since he is a cancer survivor. Let’s hope this pandemic turns into endemic and we all will be vaccinated against COVID similar to the flu vaccine. I firmly believe the vaccine is an effective tool and Merck’s molnupiravir is for the latter treatment when infection is detected. The combination off the two should reduce hospitalization and death in breakthrough cases. Molnupiravir alone is not a substitute for the vaccine.
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