Indiana Daily Student

Merck & Co.’s pill approved to treat COVID-19

An antiviral pill used to treat high-risk adults for COVID-19 was approved by an advisory committee within the Food and Drug Administration Tuesday. The new pill is manufactured by the American Pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. 

The committee approved it in a narrow 13 to 10 vote, according to the New York Times

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines a high-risk adult as someone with underlying medical issues such as diabetes or heart conditions and anyone over the age of 65.

Pfizer submitted their antiviral COVID-19 drug to the FDA for approval earlier this month. 

The Merck pill has been shown to reduce hospitalization and death by 50% while the Pfizer pill has been shown to reduce hospitalization by 89%

The approval decision comes as a new COVID-19 variant called Omicron has been detected in more than a dozen countries. 

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