Merck asks US FDA to authorize promising anti-COVID pill

Coronavirus

This undated image provided by Merck & Co. shows their new antiviral medication. The drugmaker has said its experimental pill for people sick with COVID-19 reduced hospitalizations and deaths. (Merck & Co. via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Drugmaker Merck has asked U.S. regulators to authorize its promising antiviral pill against COVID-19, setting the stage for a decision within weeks.

If cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, it would be the first pill shown to treat COVID-19, adding a new, easy-to-use weapon to the world’s arsenal against the pandemic. The FDA will scrutinize company data on the drug’s safety and effectiveness before rendering a decision. All COVID-19 drugs now authorized by the FDA require an IV or injection.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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