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Final U.S. hurdle for Merck's COVID-19 pill: FDA panel review

Merck antiviral
Posted at 9:33 AM, Nov 30, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health advisers are reviewing Merck's closely watched COVID-19 pill, which could become the first easy-to-use drug for American patients.

The FDA asked its outside experts Tuesday whether the agency should authorize the pill. They will weigh new data that the pill is less effective than the company first reported.

Merck said last week that final study results showed its pill reduced hospitalization and death by 30%, lower than the 50% reduction it first announced last month.

The FDA panel will take that smaller benefit into consideration as it reviews the drug. FDA regulators will make its final ruling on the drug following the meeting.