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Merck requests FDA authorization of anti-COVID pill

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This undated image provided by Merck & Co. shows their new antiviral medication. Pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. announced Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, that its experimental COVID-19 pill reduced hospitalizations and deaths by half in people recently infected with the coronavirus and that it would soon ask health officials in the U.S. and around the world to authorize its use.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Drugmaker Merck has asked U.S. regulators to authorize its promising antiviral pill against COVID-19, setting the stage for a decision within weeks.

If cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, it would be the first pill shown to treat COVID-19, adding a new, easy-to-use weapon to the world’s arsenal against the pandemic.

The FDA will scrutinize company data on the drug’s safety and effectiveness before rendering a decision.

All COVID-19 drugs now authorized by the FDA require an IV or injection.

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