Britain’s health regulators on Thursday approved the world’s first pill to treat cases of symptomatic COVID-19, dubbed a “gamechanger” for those most vulnerable to the deadly coronavirus.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the antiviral Lagevrio (molnupiravir) was found to be safe and effective at reducing the risk of hospitalisation and death in people with mild to moderate COVID-19, who are at increased risk of developing severe disease.
Molnupiravir, originally created to treat flu, could go on to be prescribed twice a day to vulnerable patients recently diagnosed with COVID-19 after it proved effective in clinical trials.
“Today is a historic day for our country, as the UK is now the first country in the world to approve an antiviral that can be taken at home for COVID-19. This will be a gamechanger for the most vulnerable and the immunosuppressed, who will soon be able to receive the ground-breaking treatment,” said UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid.