Britain, on Thursday, approved anti-COVID-19 pill, which has been jointly developed by US-based Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.

Thus, Britain became the first country in the world to have approved the anti-COVID-19 pill for medical purposes. 

Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recommended the drug – Molnupiravir, be used as soon as possible following a positive COVID-19 test and within five days of the onset of symptoms, citing clinical data, news agency Reuters reported. 

Meanwhile, US advisers are expected to meet later this month to vote on whether Molnupiravir should be authorized for medical purposes. 

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Data shows that Merck’s Molnupiravir could halve the chances of dying or being hospitalised for those most at risk of developing severe COVID-19 when given early in the illness. 

“We are now working across government and the NHS to urgently get this treatment to patients initially through a national study so we can collect more data on how antivirals work in a mostly vaccinated population,” UK vaccines minister Maggie Throup told the British parliament. 

Molnupiravir is being branded in the United Kingdom as Lagevrio. 

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