Home World Controversy-ridden can Merck’s new crown “oral magic drug” be listed | United States | New Crown Pneumonia_Sina

Controversy-ridden can Merck’s new crown “oral magic drug” be listed | United States | New Crown Pneumonia_Sina

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Original title: Can Merck’s new crown “orally magical medicine” be marketed?

In response to the new crown epidemic, it may be necessary to usher in special treatment drugs. On Monday, local time, American biopharmaceutical leader Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics stated that they formally applied to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the anti-coronavirus “orally magical drug” Molnupiravir. They specifically requested the FDA This drug is approved for emergency use in adults who are severely ill or have a mild to moderate risk of hospitalization.

If approved for marketing, Molnupiravir will become the world‘s first oral small molecule new crown specific drug to be marketed. Currently, all new coronary therapies approved in the United States require intravenous injection or injection into the body. Katonis, Senior Vice President of Merck’s Infectious Diseases Department, said: “Its value is that this is a pill, so you don’t have to deal with the various factors surrounding infusion. I think this is a very powerful tool.”

According to the New York Times, the name of this medicine is derived from Mjlnir, which is the hammer wielded by Thor in Norse mythology. Taking 4 capsules each time, taking the medicine twice a day, and 5 days as a course of treatment, 40 capsules of “Thor’s Hammer” are required for a course of treatment.

As for the effectiveness of “Thor’s Hammer”, on October 1, Merck and its partner Ridgeback announced the Phase III clinical interim data of Molnupiravir in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate new coronary pneumonia. The results show that Molnupiravir can reduce hospitalization or mortality by about 50%.

According to information released by Merck, based on confidence in the results of the study, the company has ventured to produce Molnupiravir in advance, and is expected to produce 10 million treatment courses by the end of 2021, and will continue to increase the supply next year. In addition, the US government has taken the lead and signed a large order with Merck, ordering 1.7 million courses of drugs, valued at 1.2 billion US dollars, or about 7.7 billion yuan.

After that, the capital market moved by the wind. On the same day, Merck rose by a double-digit percentage and closed up 8%, the largest one-day increase in the past five years. Damaged industries such as aviation also ushered in a wave of rebound. In contrast, vaccine stocks represented Moderna and BioNTech SE plummeted.

But the good times didn’t last long, and this “magic oral medicine” immediately fell into a storm of public opinion. According to Russia Today, the production cost of the drug is US$17.74, but the pharmaceutical company will charge the US government US$712. Based on this figure, the price of the new drug is 40 times the cost. This will make Merck and Ridgeback profiteering. By the end of this year, the drug may bring in 7 billion U.S. dollars in revenue, making it one of the most profitable drugs in history.

In addition, scientists also warned that the drug may seriously harm health because the method used to kill the new coronavirus is dangerous and may cause cancer or birth defects in the cells of patients receiving treatment.

Regarding drug costs and prices, as well as possible side effects, a reporter from Beijing Business Daily contacted Merck Pharmaceuticals, but has not received a reply as of press time. Meng Lilian, chief expert of the Sichuan Tianfu Health Industry Research Institute, believes that if the new crown oral drug can be successfully listed, it means an additional anti-epidemic method. This is a very gratifying progress. The price of any new drug is relatively high, which is not surprising. If drugs are needed, countries should also balance the needs of pharmaceutical companies and the fight against the epidemic.

However, regardless of whether Molnupiravir is finally approved for marketing, the new crown oral drug will become the starting point of various pharmaceutical companies. Health experts, including Anthony Fauci, a top infectious disease expert in the United States, have long called for pharmaceutical companies to develop a pill that can be taken orally by patients when the symptoms of new crowns first appear, just like cold medicine. The combined use of such drugs and vaccines is seen as the key to controlling future waves of infection and reducing the impact of the epidemic.

Right now, other major pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer and Roche, are also studying similar oral drugs, and the results may be announced in the next few weeks or months.

Outside the United States, other countries are not far behind. According to a report from Japan’s NHK TV station, a nursing facility in Yokohama, Japan is conducting clinical trials to confirm the safety of Japanese Shiono’s new crown oral drugs. The company’s president, Teyoki Ko, said he will strive to get the drug application approved within this year.

On October 10, Japan’s new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also inspected this nursing facility and said that he looked forward to the early development of new crown oral drugs, and the government would fully support it, because “this will become the key to quelling the new crown epidemic.” Earlier reports said that Shiono Yoshitaka’s new crown oral drug has just entered the final clinical trial stage. At this stage, participants are required to take the drug once a day for 5 consecutive days to observe the efficacy and safety of the drug.

Although the development of oral drugs is in full swing, Meng Lilian pointed out that the new crown oral drugs are therapeutic drugs, which are used only when they are infected with new coronary pneumonia. In reality, prevention is the most important thing, so we should vigorously promote vaccination to prevent infection. In addition, the treatment of new coronary pneumonia is not only a drug problem, but also involves the allocation of other medical resources, so reducing the number of infected people is the key.

The White House Covid-19 consultant Zienz also publicly emphasized: “The correct way of thinking is that Molnupiravir is a potential additional tool in our toolbox that can protect people from the worst consequences of the new crown virus, but the vaccine is still our fight against the new crown pneumonia. The best tool. Vaccines can prevent you from contracting the new coronavirus from the beginning. We want to prevent infection, not treat it after infection.”

Beijing Commercial Daily reporter Tao Feng Zhao Tianshu


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