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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, October 01, 2021

An investigational antiviral pill reduced the chances that patients newly diagnosed with Covid-19 would be hospitalized by about 50%, a finding that could give doctors a desperately needed new way to treat the sick, the drug maker Merck announced Friday.

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More info for those interested.

www.nature.com

#1 | Posted by jpw at 2021-10-01 08:47 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

This is encouraging

#2 | Posted by BellRinger at 2021-10-01 10:19 AM | Reply

Results were so positive that they stopped the clinicals early.

Yet once this is approved we will have folks still demanding their IVERMECTIN!

Personally, I still say give me the vaccination over a cure - prevention rules.

#3 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2021-10-01 10:22 AM | Reply

Merck and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said in a news release they would apply for emergency use authorization for the drug, molnupiravir, in the United States as soon as possible. It would be the first antiviral pill for covid-19.

A simple, easy-to-prescribe pill that prevents mild and moderate cases of covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, from turning into dire episodes has been one of the missing pieces of the medical armamentarium to fight the virus.

Merck has already begun producing molnupiravir. The small brown capsules must be taken twice a day for five days. The company predicts it will make 10 million courses of treatment by the end of the year. The U.S. government made an advance purchase of 1.7 million treatment courses of the drug at a cost of $1.2 billion.

The biggest impact of the drug might be in the rest of the world, where vaccine availability is low and monoclonal antibody treatments may be impractical or unavailable. Merck has licensed its drug to five Indian generic drug manufacturers to speed up availability in low- and middle-income countries, many of which have had limited access to vaccines.

The company said it would use a "tiered pricing approach," pricing the drug to reflect countries' ability to pay for the drug.

A global trial of the pill enrolled 775 people with mild or moderate covid-19. Participants had at least one risk factor for severe covid-19, such as obesity or advanced age. They had to start the drug regimen within five days of symptom onset and be unvaccinated.

Half of study participants received the drug and half received a placebo. No deaths were reported among people receiving the drug, but eight deaths were recorded among those who received a placebo. The rate of hospitalization and death in people who received the drug was 7.3 percent - about half the level for those who received a placebo.

Those results, showing the drug afforded significant protection, led an independent safety board to suggest halting the trial.

Laboratory and animal experiments suggest the pill may be effective against known variants, including delta. Unlike vaccines or antibodies that target specific proteins on the surface of the virus, molnupiravir works by introducing genetic errors that garble the coronavirus's genetic code. That means it may be more resistant to mutation, and may even work on other coronaviruses or RNA viruses.

www.washingtonpost.com

This is a BFD for real! Having another effective weapon against Covid is a fantastic breakthrough in pharmaceutical science and the fact generic licenses have already been signed bodes well for the lesser income countries and their populations on top of the discovery.

Here's hoping molnupiravir will become a Covid defeater readily available the world over in the coming months.

#4 | Posted by tonyroma at 2021-10-01 10:36 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

"Results were so positive that they stopped the clinicals early."

That actually sounds a bit dodgy. They stopped the testing when they got the result they wanted?

"Yet once this is approved we will have folks still demanding their IVERMECTIN!"

It hasn't even been peer reviewed yet. So at this point it's at the same level as Ivermectin and the one that Trump got when he was sick.

"Personally, I still say give me the vaccination over a cure - prevention rules."

Personally, I agree, except it's clear that vaccination doesn't necessarily prevent COVID infection. There are people who choose both prevention and treatment because the vaccination is not a guarantee you won't be hospitalized or die from it. Either way, people will continue to 'demand' doctors give them medications they heard about from sources they trust, whether it's a dopey TV commercial or a 'news' story which is basically an advertisement for the drug, like with any other ailment these days.

#5 | Posted by sentinel at 2021-10-01 11:46 AM | Reply

"That actually sounds a bit dodgy."

Only to folks who don't understand the mechanics of clinical trials. It's not unusual for early, clear success to alter a timeline.

#6 | Posted by Danforth at 2021-10-01 11:57 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

" it's clear that vaccination doesn't necessarily prevent COVID infection"

You're using a micro dial.

Try using a macro dial, and tell the class which way the dial turns.

#7 | Posted by Danforth at 2021-10-01 12:00 PM | Reply

Personally, I agree, except it's clear that vaccination doesn't necessarily prevent COVID infection.

I love it. The general public is finally gaining some knowledge about how vaccines do or don't work and everyone is an expert.

SMDH.

#8 | Posted by jpw at 2021-10-01 12:58 PM | Reply

Thanks Science!

Oh and f your thoughts and prayers and de-wormer.

#9 | Posted by bored at 2021-10-01 01:29 PM | Reply

Ivermectin and Chloroquine Snake Oil Salesmen will hate this. Another great business ruined by science.

#10 | Posted by danni at 2021-10-01 02:48 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

How many horse paste eaters will refuse this because it "was developed so quickly"?

#11 | Posted by Nixon at 2021-10-01 03:05 PM | Reply

The company said it would use a "tiered pricing approach," pricing the drug to reflect countries' ability to pay for the drug

For a five day treatment....

Africa $3
Europe $75
Canada $80
US $24,975

Given big pharma's past history of gouging Americans.

How can a $1 bottle of water sold for $10 during a hurricane be called gouging and a $1 bottle of insulin be sold for $750 be called "health care"?

#12 | Posted by Nixon at 2021-10-01 03:09 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

It keeps the folks who provide that health care economically healthy.

Very healthy.

#13 | Posted by donnerboy at 2021-10-01 03:13 PM | Reply

"How can a $1 bottle of water sold for $10 during a hurricane be called gouging and a $1 bottle of insulin be sold for $750 be called "health care"?"

Ask Joe Manchin's daughter.

#14 | Posted by danni at 2021-10-01 03:22 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Deduct the U.S. cost from former president Trump's pension.

#15 | Posted by Twinpac at 2021-10-01 03:38 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Personally, I agree, except it's clear that vaccination doesn't necessarily prevent COVID infection.

We ALWAYS new that. No vaccinations is 100%. I don't know of any outside of the flu that target something that is mutating fairly rapidly as COVID is. Point of my comment is that if you can do something to reduce your risk of getting it in the first place you are better off. Honestly with Delta it feels like vaccination doesn't do much to prevent infection but it seems to keep you out of the hospital for the most part.

And for so many of our visitor here, protection by vaccination results in? Herd Immunity - provided the mutations are not rapid like the flu.

#16 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2021-10-01 04:14 PM | Reply

Experimental Treatment Reduces Covid Hospitalization by Half

Reducing by half sounds great.
Then you read and realize it actually only reduced hospitalization by 7%.

Both are true, but one sounds far more effective than the other.

Plus - for all you anti vaxxers thinking this means you dont need a vaccine - this is only IF you find out you have covid in time. This drug won't reduce your odds of contracting covid or spreading it to others like vaccines will.

But it's an exciting day for selfish ------ who only care about themselves and aren't willing to get vaccinated and do their part to end the pandemic.

#17 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2021-10-01 04:27 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

For the anti-vax crowd these will be packaged as 'Extra Strength Ivermectin', 'Viagra XL', 'Eight Hour Cialis' or 'Flintstones Chewables'...

#18 | Posted by catdog at 2021-10-01 04:29 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Speaks is right. I listened to a summary about this 'breakthrough.' Placebo had a hospitalization rate of 14%. Drug treatment arm 7%. Barely meeting criteria to get approval in my view.

Our hospital recently added Luvox, an SSRI with anti-inflammatory properties to be used for the same indication.

#19 | Posted by mattm at 2021-10-01 04:32 PM | Reply

Then you read and realize it actually only reduced hospitalization by 7%.

You comprehended incorrectly. Only 7% of Covid infected patients that took the medication ended up in the hospital while the placebo group's rate was double, or 14%.

So 93% of Covid infected patients who took molnupiravir stayed out of the hospital. Seeing as how our hospitals and workers are being inundated at the moment, a 50% drop in patients is more than a welcome development, it's a true lifesaver - even for those who don't have Covid but need critical care services now being sucked up by Covid patients.

#20 | Posted by tonyroma at 2021-10-01 04:36 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Useful, but not anywhere near as good as vaccination.

#21 | Posted by SomebodyElse at 2021-10-01 04:41 PM | Reply

Useful, but not anywhere near as good as vaccination.

Covid infected patients cannot receive vaccinations, so your dismissal is both wrong and misplaced.

Though we wish everyone who's able would take the vaccine, if this pill regimen reduces hospitalizations by 50%, this is a godsend for our hospitals and healthcare providers while taking the pressure off from the scarcity and use of more expensive therapeutics now being used to treat Covid infections.

#22 | Posted by tonyroma at 2021-10-01 04:49 PM | Reply

Don't fall for it righties! It's just another liberal trick like vaccines, masks, covering your mouth when you cough, or chewing your food before swallowing.

They're just trying to keep you from chugging down that sweet, sweet bleach and horse medicine that fixes all that ails you.

Just say neigh!!

#23 | Posted by censored at 2021-10-01 04:50 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

one of the missing pieces of the medical armamentarium

No one goes home til the missing medical armamentarium is returned to the armory.

#24 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2021-10-01 06:48 PM | Reply

We needed to be closer to 90% otherwise people will start trying to live like they did before and the fatalities will increase exponentially.

PS it seems Americans really do have a thing for pills.

#25 | Posted by Tor at 2021-10-02 06:41 PM | Reply

I will have to see if this is the same as Pfizermectin. You douches that used to demonize the big drug companies and are now getting their logos tattooed on your bodies need to get your heads examined.

#26 | Posted by Skeptical at 2021-10-02 09:19 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

#26 | Posted by Skeptical

LOL

moron moron moron moron moron moron moron moron moron moron moron moron moron moron moron moron moron moron moron moron moron moron moron moron.

#27 | Posted by billy_boy at 2021-10-02 09:31 PM | Reply

"You douches that used to demonize the big drug companies"

Merck makes ivermectin too.

#28 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-10-02 09:33 PM | Reply

"Merck makes ivermectin too.
#28 | POSTED BY SNOOFY"

Off patent so no money in it. Mermectin or Pfizermectin is a totally different story.

You used to understand that concept until you got your Pfizer logo tattoo.

#29 | Posted by Skeptical at 2021-10-02 09:51 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

#29 | Posted by Skeptical

Idiot.

Ivermectin, Mermectin, Pfizermectin, are effective against parasites.

They have no effect at all against viruses.

But you're stupid, so believe what you want.

I'd be happy to buy you a lethal dose of any of those drugs.

I'd want to watch you die painfully, as a condition of paying for your execution.

#30 | Posted by billy_boy at 2021-10-02 09:59 PM | Reply

"Off patent so no money in it."

So you didn't believe in Merck's ivermectin until 1996, but after 1996 Merck's ivermectin became a wonder drug.

#31 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-10-02 10:02 PM | Reply

"I'd want to watch you die painfully, as a condition of paying for your execution.
#30 | POSTED BY BILLY_BOY"

Dude, log off for a few hours. Take a long walk in the fresh air. If after the walk you still have thoughts like the one above, seek mental health help. I am being 100% serious here and even the liberals should advise you the same.

#32 | Posted by Skeptical at 2021-10-02 10:19 PM | Reply

One wonders if Florida will outlaw the pills.

#33 | Posted by Hughmass at 2021-10-03 07:29 AM | Reply

"Deduct the U.S. cost from former president Trump's pension.
#15 | POSTED BY TWINPAC"

What pension? President Trump didn't draw a salary.

#34 | Posted by phesterOBoyle at 2021-10-03 09:22 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

What pension? President Trump didn't draw a salary.

#34 | POSTED BY PHESTEROBOYLE

Ahhh there are still people out there who believe this. LOL

#35 | Posted by jpw at 2021-10-03 11:40 AM | Reply

Trump and his family, Administration, and all his other lackeys are not credible sources of information.

#36 | Posted by Tor at 2021-10-03 12:13 PM | Reply

www.usatoday.com

Trump, as promised during his campaign, does write checks to various agencies equivalent to a quarter of his annual salary every quarter. But this does not mean he earns no money.
Even though Trump donated (did not keep) his salary, many of his detractors believe he should not make any money from prior real estate holdings he has.

#37 | Posted by phesterOBoyle at 2021-10-03 02:48 PM | Reply

#37 Best Trump could do is three fiddy.
www.washingtonpost.com

#38 | Posted by bored at 2021-10-03 04:17 PM | Reply

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