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Tag: Molnupiravir

Merck is selling a government financed COVID-19 antiviral back to the U.S. government for 40 times what it costs to make

Merck is charging the U.S. government $712 for a potentially revolutionary COVID-19 antiviral. However, it only costs Merck $17.74 to produce the durg, meaning Merck is selling at a roughly 40 times mark-up.

Merck acquired the rights to the drug – molnupiravir – from Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, which licensed it from Emory University.

Molnupiravir was developed with US federal government funding on two months prior.

Sharon Lerner, The Intercept »

A five-day course of molnupiravir, the new medicine being hailed as a “huge advance” in the treatment of Covid-19, costs $17.74 to produce, according to a report issued last week by drug pricing experts at the Harvard School of Public Health and King’s College Hospital in London. Merck is charging the U.S. government $712 for the same amount of medicine, or 40 times the price.

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Merck’s antiviral pill reduces hospitalization of Covid patients, a possible game-changer for treatment

Early days yet. Still lots of research needs to be done. But there are reasons to hope.

Matthew Herper, Stat »

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.

A five-day course of molnupiravir, developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, reduced both hospitalization and death compared to a placebo. In the placebo group, 53 patients, or 14.1%, were hospitalized or died. For those who received the drug, 28, or 7.3%, were hospitalized or died.

A simple oral medication to help treat Covid-19 has been an elusive goal since the start of the pandemic. Other drugs, including Gilead’s remdesivir, have also been shown to reduce hospitalizations if given early in the course of disease, but must be given intravenously.

“If this pans out, it will change the landscape,” said Andy Pavia, chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at University of Utah. “There’s still a lot we need to know. What does the side effect profile look like? Do we know how to dose it in populations that are different such as children and the obese? But as a top-line result, this is definitely exciting.”

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