‘Molnupiravir to be given to senior citizens but…’: NTAGI chief's warning against new COVID pill
Molnupiravir, which prevents hospitalization and ICU admissions, can be given to senior citizens, particularly those with comorbidities, Dr NK Arora, Chairman of COVID-19 Working Group of NTAGI, told news agency ANI. However, it should not be given to people of the reproductive age, he further pointed out.
Last month, Indian drug regulator Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) approved the anti-viral drug Molnupiravir for restricted emergency use against coronavirus. Sun Pharma introduced Merck Sharpe Dohme (MSD) and Ridgeback’s Molnupiravir under the brand name Molxvir in India.
Molnupiravir has a mechanism of action that works against Omicron: Merck
Meanwhile, Merck on Monday claimed that its COVID-19 oral pill molnupiravir has a mechanism of action that can work against Omicron and any other variant.
"We're very confident that it will effect Omicron ... This mechanism in molecule (will) work for Omicron, and I would imagine against any variant that comes up," Dean Li, president of Merck Research Laboratories, said at J.P. Morgan's annual healthcare conference.
Data on molnupiravir's impact against Omicron is not yet available, but the pill was shown to be 30% effective at reducing hospitalizations and deaths, based on data from 1,433 patients, as per latest data released in November.
(With inputs from agencies)