Molnupiravir was supposed to be the next big breakthrough in getting us back to something resembling normalcy. If only we could afford it.
The Merck-marketed antiviral drug reduced hospitalizations for COVID-19 by 50 percent in a study of 775 high-risk patients.
According to the Daily Mail, 7.3 percent of those taking molnupiravir were hospitalized compared to 14.1 percent who received a placebo. While eight patients in the placebo group died, none from the molnupiravir group did.
The drug was developed with massive government subsidies by a company licensed by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. Ridgeback sold the rights to Merck in 2020.
The Intercept reported that molnupiravir was initially investigated as a treatment for Venezuelan equine encephalitis, although it’s now found a far more useful application. As a pill,