If you think that big pharma money has dried up, then you’ve got another thing coming. They continue to milk COVID-19 for all that it’s worth.
This is because Merck announced last Friday that they are going to start marketing their experimental coronavirus drug, molnupiravir, because they have conducted several studies that show that it reduces the risk of serious illness and death in people diagnosed with COVID-19 by at least 50%.
Merck and their partner, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, are planning on seeking an emergency use authorization for this treatment as soon as possible, according to Reuters.
If approved, the drug is believed to be an effective way to combat all variants of the COVID-19 malady and it would be the first oral antiviral medication to treat COVID-19.
At the time of this reporting, all current COVID-19 therapies that have been authorized for use in the United States require administration via injection or IV.
This company announced that all of their clinical trials had been very positive and noted that this drug works by giving “errors” to the genetic coding of COVID-19.
This was a study that enrolled patients around the world that had either mild or moderate COVID-19 symptoms and who had at least one risk factor associated with serious illness or death. These patients received a dose of this drug every 12 hours for at least five days.
This Reuters report also noted that there was an interim analysis of 775 patients in the study, and it showed that 7.3% of them that were given this drug “were either hospitalized or had died about 29 days after treatment” when compared with just over 14% of placebo patients. The molnupiravir group chalked up no deaths whatsoever, and the placebo group had eight deaths.
This outlet was also proud to report that this data is showing that this drug is “not capable of inducing genetic changes in human cells.” However, it warned male patients that they should abstain from heterosexual intercourse or they should use contraception (?). Female participants were not allowed to be pregnant and they also needed to use contraception (?).
Robert Davis, Merck’s CEO, told Reuters, “This is going to change the dialogue around how to manage COVID-19.”
Wendy Holman, Ridgeback’s CEO, added, “Antiviral treatments that can be taken at home to keep people with COVID-19 out of the hospital are critically needed.”
All right, folks. You KNEW that THIS was coming, didn’t you? Here comes the money side of it. Apparently, this biopharmaceutical company is planning on introducing 10 million courses of the treatment by the end of the year and they have already obtained a government contract to produce 1.7 million courses of the drug at $700 a pop. Wow. Definitely big Pharma money for sure.
Company officials are not certain how long an approval from the Food and Drug Administration will take.
“I believe that they are going to try to work with alacrity on this,” said Dean Li, head of Merck’s research labs.
“[The drug] exceeded what I thought the drug might be able to do in this clinical trial,” Li added,. “When you see a 50% reduction in hospitalization or death that’s a substantial clinical impact.”
Aren’t these people just wonderful? Maybe we should get Pope Francis to canonize them! Yeah, folks, read between the lines here. They are not doing this out of the goodness of their heart. They are doing this because of one thing, and one thing only. Big Pharma money.