New COVID Pill

Merck is piloting a new pill to treat COVID patients. It’s good news in the sense that finally there’s an effort to treat the sick and not the healthy but there’s a weird part to this, too:

Merck has said data shows molnupiravir is not capable of inducing genetic changes in human cells, but men enrolled in its trials have to abstain from heterosexual intercourse or agree to use contraception. Women of child-bearing age cannot be pregnant and also have to use birth control.

I’d need to hear a lot more information about this aspect of the pill to feel good about it.

8 thoughts on “New COVID Pill

  1. Traditionally, they do the first round of testing on children and pregnant women in Indonesia or Africa, where bad results won’t make the US news and tarnish the product before it gets to market.

    Which is why it’s so bizarre that with hardly any testing at all, they’re insisting the covax is safe for pregnant women. That is a pretty huge anomaly.


  2. Yeah, depending on the phase they look exclusively for “normals,” basically anyone without a large list of health conditions and who aren’t on certain medications.


  3. On the other hand, I’d want to see a lot more data on that one before actually trying it:

    “Side effect concerns have been raised about whether molnupiravir could be metabolised into a precursor of DNA, Swanstrom said, explaining it could enter the host cell nucleus, leading to oncogenesis. Mitochondrial toxicity with such a mechanism has been raised in previous investigations in hepatitis B and HIV, added an investigator”

    So… it might reduce your chances of hospitalization by about half. And it might also give you cancer? Mitochondrial toxicity doesn’t sound like a walk in the park either.

    Full text here:


  4. I first read that as “Merck is plotting a new pill” and then realised I wasn’t actually wrong. 🙂


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