After the COVID-19 vaccine, a COVID-19 pill would be the next game changer that would help to make a huge difference to deal with the ongoing pandemic. Pharmaceutical giant Merck has agreed to allow other drug makers to make the COVID-19 pill. The new move will allow the drug to reach millions of people across some of the poor countries across the globe. To keep things going, a voluntary licensing agreement has been signed for the drug molnupiravir, between Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
AS per the agreement, the Medicines Patent Pool will be granting further licenses to the companies who have been approved to make the drug. Under the agreement, none of the drug makers will be receiving royalties as long as the World Health Organization considers COVID-19 as a global emergency. Molnupiravir is the first drug that has shown positive results to treat the disease. The executive director at Medicines Patent Pool, Charles Gore had opined that some of the early results of molnupiravir were promising and has also hoped that the maiden voluntary licensing agreement for treating COVID-19 would lead to others.
It was noticed that even after a number of requests from the health officials and governments, none of the vaccine makers had agreed to go for a similar deal. Merck has requested that its pills for COVID-19 should be licensed by the European Medicines Agency as well as the U.S Food and Drug Administration. This month the drug maker revealed that the usage of molnupiravir had helped to cut hospitalizations and deaths by half among the patients who had early symptoms of COVID-19.
The results of the study were so strong, that the independent medical experts who were having an eye on the trial had called to stop the trial early. Amidst the pandemic, an anti-viral drug like molnupiravir would help the patients to take the drug home and allow them to have a speedy recovery.
Photo Credits: Pixabay