Merck’s New COVID-19 Pill Could Accidentally Trigger A New Variant, Experts Warn

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Discussion surrounding Merck’s newly-authorized COVID-19 pill, molnupiravir, has mostly concerned the risk it might pose to pregnant women. But some experts worry it could also lead to the outbreak of a new variant of the virus it’s designed to treat.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization to two antiviral pills to treat COVID-19 this week, one from Pfizer (paxlovid) and another from Merck (molnupiravir). The Pfizer EUA was generally lacking in controversy, but the authorization of molnupiravir was far more contentious.

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The FDA’s Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee (ADAC) voted at the end of November to recommend authorization of molnupiravir, but it was by a narrow 13-10 margin. Even the members who voted in favor did so with qualifiers: some said the pill shouldn’t be given to pregnant women, and others were skeptical of its efficacy.

“I don’t think I would want to take this drug, not knowing the effect it could have on my unborn child,” Dr. Roblena Walker, CEO of public health non-profit EMAGAHA Inc. and ADAC member, said at the time. She voted yes.

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Some of the members who voted against recommending authorization expressed more serious concerns, that rather than help solve the pandemic with its 30% efficacy rate, molnupiravir could cause the breakout of a new variant.

dailycaller.com/2021/12/23/merck-molnupiravir-covid-19-pill-coronavirus-variant-fda/

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