NEW BERN, NC (WITN) – Drugmaker Merck has asked the Federal Drug Administration for emergency use of its COVID-19 antiviral pill.
Earl Temple, a resident of Craven County, responded to Merck’s request by saying “I think that would be a great idea.”
The move makes Merck the first-ever pharmaceutical company to seek approval following promising Phase 3 clinical trials.
Anna Baird, clinical pharmacist at Realo Drugs in New Bern, explained that the drug works by inserting itself into the genetic material of the virus.
“It keeps it from replicating and as the virus replicates, that’s when it makes us sick. So when it fits into RNA, it can’t replicate itself and doesn’t make us sick anymore.
Baird said the process is similar to other drugs that have been on the market for years like Valtrex, which is used to treat herpes.
“I think it can be heartwarming for a lot of patients to know that this is not a new technology, it is not a new idea, it is something that has been used successfully against viruses,” he said. she declared.
While the COVID-19 vaccine works to prevent people from contracting the virus in the first place, there may soon be a new way to help those already diagnosed.
“It will reduce the burden on our health care system and keep people out of the hospital, it gives them a treatment option for the home,” Baird said.
Amy Copley is a pharmacist at CarolinaEast Medical Center. She said the pill could be a good option for people who cannot get the COVID-19 vaccine due to health reasons.
If approved, Merck’s COVID-19 antiviral pill could be available to Americans as soon as the end of the year.
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