WHO says it awaits full data from Merck on antiviral Covid-19 pill

The World Health Organisation is awaiting full clinical data on the antiviral pill made by Merck.
The World Health Organisation is awaiting full clinical data on the antiviral pill made by Merck.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

GENEVA (REUTERS) - The World Health Organisation is awaiting full clinical data on the antiviral pill made by Merck to treat mild-to-moderate Covid-19 patients, a WHO spokesperson said on Tuesday (Oct 12), a day after the company said it had applied for US emergency use authorisation.

WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier, asked at a UN briefing in Geneva about the drug, said: "Indeed, this is an interesting development. We would have to see the full data about it. If it holds true, then it is another weapon in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic."

Merck - known as MSD outside the United States and Canada - and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics developed molnupiravir.

Molnupiravir cut the rate of hospitalisation and death by 50 per cent in a trial of mild-to-moderately ill patients who had at least one risk factor for the disease, according to data released this month.