The United Kingdom has authorized doctors to prescribe antiviral drug molnupiravir to patients with COVID-19. Bloomberg’s Frank Connelly reports:
Britain’s regulator became the first in the world to approve Merck & Co.’s Covid-19 antiviral pill, describing the treatment as safe and effective following a swift review.
The drug, molnupiravir, was authorized for use in people with mild to moderate Covid and at least one risk factor for developing severe illness, the U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said Thursday.
Merck shares rose 2% in premarket U.S. trading.
Boris Johnson’s government plans to focus on antiviral treatments while rolling out boosters to bolster immunity levels as winter approaches. The approval extends the U.K.’s record of quick action on Covid clearances after it was the first western nation to give the go-ahead to Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE’s vaccine last year.