Healthcare

Merck expecting up to $6B in sales of COVID-19 pill this year

© Merck's Media for Press

Merck said on Thursday that it had sold $952 million of its antiviral COVID-19 pill and was on track to sell another $5 billion to $6 billion for the year. 

The company has already delivered its product to 25 countries and has agreements with over 30 countries, Robert Davis, Merck’s CEO, said on CNBC on Thursday.

Davis added that the work surrounding the treatment was off to a “strong start,” citing accomplishments like the commitment of delivering 3.1 million courses to the U.S., which he said was expected to be completed in the next few days. He added that the company was on pace to have 4 million courses delivered globally soon.

“We’ve shown that molnupiravir works against omicron, which is important against that variant,” Davis told CNBC. “And obviously we’ll have to see how this plays out and what is the initial uptake but right now we feel we’re off to a good start.”

After the pill received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration in December, the company delivered 1.4 million courses to the U.S. last year, Davis noted. 

At the end of last month, the European Union’s drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency, approved Pfizer’s antiviral pill to combat COVID-19. The agency was still reviewing Merck’s pill following the company’s submission of revised data which showed it was less effective than previously thought.

Molnupiravir is intended to be taken as a five-day treatment early in one’s COVID-19 diagnosis. It targets the enzyme that allows COVID-19 to copy itself. 

Merck’s testing results released in October indicated that the treatment reduced the risk of hospitalization by 50 percent.

Tags Antiviral drugs COVID-19 COVID-19 drug development Merck

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