A recent editorial in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) criticized the decisions of British and U.S. health regulators to authorize the use of the antiviral molnupiravir, the COVID-19 antiviral.
The developers of the drug, Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, had announced that molnupiravir lowered the risk of hospital admissions or death by roughly 50% in the 29 days following infection with COVID-19.
WHO recently updated its treatment guidelines to include the drug for high-risk individuals. The organization based its decision on new data from six randomized controlled studies involving 4,796 patients.
Authorizations of molnupiravir will “inhibit further necessary evaluations” and could divert funding from more effective treatments, argued author James M Brophy, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at McGill University Health Center.<…