With Merck’s COVID Antiviral Announcement, Can the Pharma Pipeline Build Treatment Momentum?

 

At the start of the month, pharmaceutical company Merck dropped big news: It has developed a COVID antiviral drug that would cut hospitalization and mortality risks by 50%. In the drug’s study, patients taking the placebo pill saw 14% hospitalization rate and eight deaths, while the trial group with Merck’s drug had only 7% hospitalized and zero deaths.

This appears to be just the tip of the iceberg; Kaiser Health News reports at least three COVID antiviral candidates, including Merck’s, going through late-stage clinical trials, meaning a variety of COVID drugs could be on patient’s prescriptions here soon. What’ll be some of the positive domino effects to come from approval of COVID antivirals, not only on the pharmaceutical production pipeline, but on the general population’s health? Ira Leiderman, managing director of the healthcare practice at Cassel Salpeter & Co., gave MarketScale his take on the coming treatments.

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