LONDON, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Britain will begin rolling out Merck’s antiviral pill molnupiravir for COVID-19 through a drug trial later this month, Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser to the Agency for Health, said on Sunday. UK Health Security.
Last week, Britain became the first country in the world to approve the antiviral pill for COVID-19 jointly developed by Merck & Co Inc and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
The government said in October that it had secured 480,000 cycles of the Merck drug and another 250,000 cycles of an antiviral pill developed by Pfizer Inc ..
When asked about the approval of molnupiravir, Hopkins told the BBC: “This is great news and it will start rolling out through a drug trial later this month / early December.”
Hopkins said that all of the trials so far have been in unvaccinated people, which would help understand how it will work in the general vaccinated population.
“Pfizer’s new drug will probably not be licensed until the new year,” he added. “It’s probably still a couple of months away.”
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan. Edited in Spanish by Javier Leira)
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