Merck defended its Covid safety profile Antiviral drug The rival treatment developed by Pfizer claimed to cause problems for some patients taking the drug for other medical conditions.
Criticism of Merck’s rival products arises when the US Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to approve the antiviral drug molnupiravir, an easy-to-administer oral treatment for Covid-19.
Last week, a panel of FDA external experts Voted I was slightly in favor of giving Merck’s medicine a green light with a margin of 13 to 10. However, some members are concerned about its efficacy and safety, including whether it can cause birth defects when taken by pregnant women or help generate new Covid variants. Expressed concern.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Eliabuber, senior vice president of Merck’s Global Medical Affairs, both to protect people from the virus, as some patients may not be able to receive either treatment. Said that antiviral drugs are needed for possible side effects.
However, he added that the need to take Pfizer’s antivirals with ritonavir, the drug used to treat HIV, makes treatment inadequate for many people with existing medical conditions.
“Ritonavir, which has been used for many years to treat HIV, is a drug that specifically blocks the body’s ability to break down the drug,” Barr said. “The problem is that it’s incredibly non-specific. So there are many medicines that people take, especially unfortunately, many medicines that are associated with risk-causing conditions.”
Research Release The scientific journal Nature last week identified a “high overall frequency” of drug-drug interactions in high-risk Covid-19 patients in Spain who were treated with the antiviral drugs lopinavir and ritonavir during hospitalization. Such interactions were “warningly overlooked in the context of the Covid-19 healthcare crisis,” the study authors concluded.
Pfizer said it has a well-characterized safety profile when used alone or in combination with other drugs. They can cause drug interactions, but in many cases they are manageable, he added.
“For drugs that share a common pathway of drug metabolism as Pfizer’s oral antivirals, most patients adjust their dosages and complete their oral antiviral regimen over the 5-day treatment period before regular dosing. You can go back to, “said a Pfizer spokeswoman.
Molnupiravir’s approval and commercial performance, unlike Pfizer, is important for Merck, who did not develop the Covid-19 vaccine. If the FDA grants an emergency use authorization for medicines, the US government has signed a contract to purchase 3.2 million courses for $ 2.2 billion.
Merck’s stock has lost 17% of its value in the past month after data show that Pfizer’s antiviral drug Paxrovid is more effective than molnupiravir in reducing the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid. rice field.
UK and EU regulators granted emergency use or conditional approval of treatment last month.
However, approval was given before Merck released final clinical trial data, showing that the drug was 30% effective in reducing the risk of hospitalization and death in high-risk patients. This was significantly lower than the 50% effectiveness Merck announced in October from a preliminary analysis of the data.
Citi downgraded Merck from “buy” to “neutral” last week, ” [molnupiravir] It keeps getting worse. ”
Merck’s Bar said the safety profile of Molnupiravir is “very strong” and many governments are interested in gaining a supply of Molnupiravir to fight Covid.
Merck is aiming for Pfizer’s Covid Pill.
Source link Merck is aiming for Pfizer’s Covid Pill.