MOLNUPIRAVIR–the new Merck drug
They intended to study 1550 patients. However at the interim analysis half way through with 775 patients, they found enough of a significant benefit to stop recruiting into the study and ask for EUA approval. The study was 90% recruited by that time.
In the treatment group there were 28/385 or 7% hospitalized. In the placebo group, 53/377 or 14% were hospitalized. There were 8 deaths in this group all of them had taken placebo. So the reduction from 14 to 7% defines this as a 50% reduction.
If you click on the link of my discussing this on TV, Amanda Salinas asks me: “Is this a game changer?”, to which I quickly respond: “No. Vaccines are the game changer.” Meaning that this is important and good but will not end the pandemic. If this proves safe and effective after it is widely used, then certainly this is going to be a big seller. It probably will be more impactful in other countries where vaccine access is proving to be still painfully slow. Until enough of the world is vaccinated, at least we can prevent some hospitalizations and death.
Merck has assured us that it will make most of it’s profit in the USA. It will reduce prices according to how much a country can pay which is invaluable for poorer countries.
It will not surprise me but it will astound me when an unvaccinated person in the US will get infected then accept Molnupiravir as treatment soon after it’s available on the market. It means that they will accept the risks of a medicine that been tried on 775 people, but they won’t accept a vaccine that has been used over a 190 million times in this country.