Pfizer vs. Merck: A Look at the Two New Covid Pill Treatments
(Bloomberg) -- Pfizer Inc. released data on its experimental Covid pill Friday that suggest a potential challenge to molnupiravir, the drug from Merck & Co. and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP that’s already been cleared for use in the U.K.
While the Pfizer pill showed an 89% reduction in hospitalization or death in high-risk Covid-19-infected individuals, and Merck’s showed a 50% reduction, “we can’t yet compare the two until the risk profile of the patients is clearer,” according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Sam Fazeli.
Here are a few facts that we can put side-by-side until the data are analyzed further:
|Pfizer’s Paxlovid||Merck’s molnupiravir/Lagevrio|
|Dosage||Twice daily for five days||Twice daily for five days|
|Production||Expects to make 180,000 packs by end of year and at least 50 million packs by end of 2022||Expects to produce 10 million courses by end of the year, has licensed to generic-drug firms, and planning production increases|
|Regulatory status||Plans to add clinical data to rolling U.S. application for authorization||Approved in the U.K., submitted for U.S. authorization|
|Mechanism of action||protease inhibitor||viral mutagenic|
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