News and Commentary

Britain Becomes First Country To Approve Merck COVID-19 Pill

   DailyWire.com
In this photo illustration, medicine pills are seen on... UKRAINE - 2021/10/17: In this photo illustration, medicine pills are seen on display with a Merck & Co., Inc. logo of the pharmaceutical company in the background. (Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) SOPA Images / Contributor
Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/Contributor/LightRocket via Getty Images

On Thursday, Britain authorized the use of an antiviral pill by the company Merck to treat COVID-19.

As reported by Reuters: 

Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recommended the drug, molnupiravir, for use in people with mild to moderate COVID-19 and at least one risk factor for developing severe illness, such as obesity, older age diabetes, and heart disease.

“The pill was licensed for adults 18 and older who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have at least one risk factor for developing severe disease, such as obesity or heart disease. Patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 would take four pills of the drug, known molnupiravir, twice a day for five days,” The Associated Press reported. 

The country is the first in the world to approve use of the drug, which could potentially lead to other nations doing the same. 

“Today is a historic day for our country, as the U.K. is now the first country in the world to approve an antiviral that can be taken at home for COVID-19,” said British health secretary Sajid Javid.

As reported by The Daily Wire, Merck stated last month that the company, as well as Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, asked for emergency authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the molnupiravir pill.

“Merck has submitted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for molnupiravir, an investigational oral antiviral medicine, for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults who are at risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization,” Merck announced in a press release. “The companies are actively working with regulatory agencies worldwide to submit applications for emergency use or marketing authorization in the coming months.” 

The Daily Wire noted that the appeal was based on “positive results from a planned interim analysis” which “evaluated molnupiravir in non-hospitalized adult patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who were at risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.” Per the interim analysis, “molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by approximately 50%.”

The FDA reportedly stated in October that a group of independent specialists would look into the effects and safety of the drug later this month. 

The move by Britain, and the chance that other countries could follow its lead, comes as the Biden administration pushes for the federal government to force private-sector workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be subject to regular testing. 

As reported by The New York Times, the Biden administration is requiring that “large companies have until Jan. 4 to ensure that their workforces are fully vaccinated,” adding, “Workers who refuse to get vaccinated must undergo weekly testing.” 

There are also new requirements for workers in healthcare industries. “All 17 million workers at health care facilities receiving either Medicare or Medicaid funding must be vaccinated by Jan. 4,” The Times added.  

The Times also noted, “Companies that fail to comply with the rule may be subject to fines, depending on how frequently they violate it and whether violations are intentional, a White House official said. An OSHA penalty is typically $13,653 for every serious violation.” 

On Thursday, The Daily Wire filed a lawsuit against the federal government over the requirement. 

“The Dhillon Law Group, Inc. and Alliance Defending Freedom filed the legal challenge on behalf of The Daily Wire in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit,” The Daily Wire noted.

“The Daily Wire will not comply with President Biden’s tyrannical vaccine mandate, and we are suing the Biden Administration to put a stop to their gross overreach,” said Daily Wire Co-Founder and Co-CEO Jeremy Boreing. “President Biden, the federal government, social media, and the establishment media have conspired to rob Americans of their freedoms in the name of public health. They have broken faith with the American people through conflicting messaging, false information, and by suppressing data and perspectives with which they disagree.” 

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