What we know about Merck’s experimental pill to treat COVID-19 – CBC

Infectious disease specialists have ‘cautious optimism,’ but say vaccines most effective way to reduce risk

Oct 08, 2021

The first experimental pill to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 is on the way, according to pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. But Canadian experts caution that vaccination is still the best way to prevent severe outcomes from the disease.

At this point, Merck has only put out a news release about molnupiravir, not the full results of the drug’s trial, so infectious disease experts still have many questions.

Nonetheless, Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an infectious diseases specialist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, said the drug does offer hope.

If it proves as effective as Merck says, it could reduce hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 and help ease strain on health-care systems, she said.

“It definitely would make a difference,” she told Dr. Brian Goldman, host of White Coat, Black Art and The Dose. “[But] you’re never going to get the incremental benefit that you get from vaccination. So I think this is relevant to places where there’s low vaccination for whatever reasons.”

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/whitecoat/what-we-know-about-merck-s-experimental-pill-to-treat-covid-19-1.6202431

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