COVID-19 pill in the works, local health care officials optimistic

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Pharmaceutical giant Merck is developing a COVID-19 pill they said will cut the risk of hospitalizations and death by 50 percent.

The oral antiviral molnupiravir is still being studied and has not yet been peer approved.

“Anything that we can do to decrease the severity of the illness from preventing people from having to come into the hospital is really important,” said Sandy Salverson, vice president of pharmacy operations at OSF HealthCare.

She said the early studies of the pill are promising, and a COVID-19 pill could be a game-changer for keeping people out of the hospital.

“We would be able to have fewer sick people within the hospital setting and that would decrease the amount of resources that we need to use, such as ventilators,” Salverson said.

Salverson estimated the pill will become available in 30-60 days, provided Merck submits its information to the FDA.

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