The first pill designed to battle covid has now been approved by the the UK medicines regulator.
The tablet was created by the US drug companies Merck, Sharp and Dohme (MSD) and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics; the UK has agreed to purchase over 480,000 courses said to arrive in November.
The pill was designed to target the enzyme that the virus abuses in order to make copies of itself that will reduce the severity of the virus and can be given to both vaccinated and non vaccinated patients.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid told the BBC that the new covid aiding response is a “gamechanger” for those who are vulnerable.
The drug is to be taken twice a day within the first five days of noticing any Coronavirus symptoms in order to gain its full effectiveness.
Robert Teddington, a Covid-19 survivor said that “I really hope that this new pill is as effective as said, I almost lost my life last year and to know that science and technology has developed fast enough to come up with a response so soon really puts my mind at ease when I think about the health and safety of my kids for the future.”
The developing company has stated that the “pill showed a 30% reduction in hospitalizations and deaths, based on data from over 1,400 patients. In October, its data showed a roughly 50% efficacy, based on data from 775 patients.”
To test the effectiveness of the pill, it will be given to both vaccinated and unvaccinated patients for a national study before more is requested for delivery.
NHS Provider, Saffron Cordery stated that “the boosters currently being rolled out to everyone who’s over 50 and in a vulnerable group really protect individuals the vaccinations for 12 to 15 year olds are absolutely critical because they help to stop that transmission.”
Merck has also mentioned that the treatment should be able to work effectively for new variants of the virus in order to react quickly to struggling carriers.
It has not yet been decided how the NHS will plan to quickly distribute the drug, some care homes may be offered access along side GP’s prescribing it to vulnerable or the elderly patients once testing positive for coronavirus.
The organisation’s chief executive, June Raine said “This is important, because it means it can be administered outside of a hospital setting, before Covid-19 has progressed to a severe stage.” In an interview with the BBC.
Although it is clear that there is a debate still going on about whether the pill if effective enough to be distributed nationally, it is estimated that the UK public could have access to the treatment in 2022.