The first Covid pill has been approved in the UK.
‘Molnupiravir’ is a tablet that is designed to be taken for symptomatic patients who have contracted the disease who are more vulnerable or likely to end up in hospital.
A clinical trial suggested it would cut the number of patients hospitalised and at risk of death from Covid-19 by around 50 per cent.
Health secretary Sajid Javid said: “Today is a historic day for our country”, also praising the drug as a “gamechanger” for societies most vulnerable.
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have proposed that the drug be used as soon as possible. The drug, created by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), works by intervening with the covid virus replication process.
The NHS and government are yet to announce the roll-out plans, although the UK has secured itself roughly 480,000 courses of the new drug.
Market competition Pfizer are also trialing their own antiviral pill for Covid-19 in the last month.
This comes as PM Boris Johnson has removed almost all lockdown measures in England going into winter, when cases are likely to spike.
The effectiveness of vaccines and new medication is crucial to the coming months.
This is a large step forward in combatting the disease that has been a world burden for almost two years now.
Feature image credit: Pavlo Gonchar, SOPA images