Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced the U.S. government committed to purchase an additional 1.4 million courses of molnupiravir, an investigational oral antiviral medicine.
The $1 billion deal is in addition to an initial agreement of 1.7 million courses for $1.2 billion.
In total, the U.S. government has agreed to purchase 3.1 million courses of molnupiravir for $2.2 billion and has the option to purchase 2 million additional courses.
The oral antiviral medicine is dependent on receiving Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA as an early COVID-19 treatment.
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 9, 2021
The pharmaceutical company Merck announced this week that the U.S. government will spend an additional $1 billion to purchase 1.4 billion courses of its COVID pill, molnupiravir. https://t.co/jvRMRdul3H pic.twitter.com/2QFP31StVG
— WebMD (@WebMD) November 11, 2021
Merck issued this press release:
Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics today announced that the United States government will exercise two of its options to purchase a total of 1.4 million additional courses of molnupiravir, an investigational oral antiviral medicine, if the medicine is granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for approximately $1 billion. With these exercised options, the U.S. government has now committed to purchase a total of approximately 3.1 million courses of molnupiravir, for approximately $2.2 billion, between authorization and early 2022. The U.S. government also has the ability to purchase more than 2 million additional courses through further options that remain in the contract. Merck is developing molnupiravir in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
“We’re honored that the U.S. government has chosen to purchase more than 3 million courses of molnupiravir, our promising oral antiviral, so that molnupiravir, if authorized, will be among the vaccines and medicines available to fight COVID-19 as part of our collective efforts to bring this pandemic to an end. In light of the continued impact of the pandemic on hundreds of thousands of people every day, all of us at Merck are moving with urgency and rigor to bring molnupiravir, with its compelling data showing a significant reduction in death and hospitalizations, to patients as quickly as we can,” said Frank Clyburn, president of Human Health, Merck.
Merck and Ridgeback previously announced the submission of an EUA application to the U.S. FDA for molnupiravir for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults at risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization. The application will be discussed at the FDA’s Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee meeting on Nov. 30, 2021.
This deal reeks of cronyism and a Big Pharma payday.
I’ve added a couple studies that show the successes of these medications to treat COVID-19.
First, this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial focused on Ivermectin:
Ivermectin, a US Food and Drug Administration-approved anti-parasitic agent, was found to inhibit severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) replication in vitro. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted to determine the rapidity of viral clearance and safety of ivermectin among adult SARS-CoV-2 patients. The trial included 72 hospitalized patients in Dhaka, Bangladesh, who were assigned to one of three groups: oral ivermectin alone (12 mg once daily for 5 days), oral ivermectin in combination with doxycycline (12 mg ivermectin single dose and 200 mg doxycycline on day 1, followed by 100 mg every 12 h for the next 4 days), and a placebo control group. Clinical symptoms of fever, cough, and sore throat were comparable among the three groups. Virological clearance was earlier in the 5-day ivermectin treatment arm when compared to the placebo group (9.7 days vs 12.7 days; p = 0.02), but this was not the case for the ivermectin + doxycycline arm (11.5 days; p = 0.27). There were no severe adverse drug events recorded in the study. A 5-day course of ivermectin was found to be safe and effective in treating adult patients with mild COVID-19. Larger trials will be needed to confirm these preliminary findings.
This study available on Cell Discovery investigated HCQ’s effectiveness to treat COVID-19:
Other than its direct antiviral activity, HCQ is a safe and successful anti-inflammatory agent that has been used extensively in autoimmune diseases and can significantly decrease the production of cytokines and, in particular, pro-inflammatory factors. Therefore, in COVID-19 patients, HCQ may also contribute to attenuating the inflammatory response. In conclusion, our results show that HCQ can efficiently inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. In combination with its anti-inflammatory function, we predict that the drug has a good potential to combat the disease. This possibility awaits confirmation by clinical trials.
The patents for HCQ and Ivermectin expired long ago and won’t make Big Pharma companies billions of dollars.
On the other hand, molnupiravir will make Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics a fortune.
— Beckys unplugged 🔌 * RaWolf (@WtfWolf1) November 11, 2021
If you think other Big Pharma corporations aren’t trying to cash in, then you’d be incorrect.
Pfizer is seeking a fortune from their antiviral COVID-19 treatment.
On Oct. 1, Merck and Ridgeback released interim data from its phase III clinical trial, which showed that molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by about 50%. About 7% of patients who received the drug were hospitalized within 30 days in the study, as compared with 14% of patients who took a placebo, the company said.
The government has also agreed to purchase 1.7 million courses of the treatment of the Pfizer antiviral pill with an option for 3.3 million more treatments, Reuters reported.
Pfizer says the pill, Paxlovid, cuts a person’s chance of hospitalization or death by 89% if taken within three days of the start of symptoms. Pfizer says it plans to file for an EAU soon.
Both antiviral treatments would be expensive, costing about $700 for a course of therapy, Reuters said.
Did you read that last part?
$700 for a course of therapy.
Talk about screwing over the American taxpayer.
The U.S. government purchases billions of courses from Big Pharma and hikes the price for consumers who may require the medication.
And it’s U.S. tax dollars that purchased the courses to begin with.
It’s another way to enrich the Big Pharma corporations off the backs of Americans.
$3.00 full treatment for anti-malarial drugs:
Merck’s pill molnupiravir is supposedly costing $700 for treatment plan. Imagine what Pfizer’s will cost?
— 🇺🇸ProudArmyBrat (@leslibless) November 8, 2021
Molnupiravir: Merck’s COVID-19 pill. Wow, reduces hospitalization risk by <7% (absolute vs relative risk) , sign me up- hey wait- aren’t they the same guys who make ivermectin for 6 cents a pill…https://t.co/l7PJRZVyIr
— Dr Rod Erickson (@rodedc1) November 9, 2021
“Now, as the vaccines continue to fail the US government is purchasing one billion dollars worth of … molnupiravir — similar to HCQ and Ivermectin but more expensive — from Merck and Co. Inc and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeautics.”https://t.co/RDtOMolAfk
— Infowars Army GFW (@ArmyIWGFW) November 10, 2021
Gateway Pundit added this tidbit about the extensive studies for HCQ and Ivermectin:
A recent international report of 64 studies shows Ivermectin has an 86% success rate as a prophylaxis and a 67% success rate in early treatment of coronavirus.
The results mirror the over 290 studies on hydroxychloroquine that have been reported over the past year.
Australian Phillip Altman BPharm (Hons), MSc, PhD provided a detailed comparison of Ivermectin and Molnupiravir at bird-group.org:
Governments worldwide have already preordered the $700 a treatment medicine even though neither the studies nor long-term safety data have been released. Previously published research shows Molnupiravir has mutagenic properties.
Smells like a giant payday for Big Pharma to me!