COVID-19: NHS plans to roll out ‘game-changing’ coronavirus pill – and it could happen ‘before Christmas’

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COVID-19: UK takes interest in antiviral coronavirus pill after trial shows it could halve hospitalizations and deaths


The NHS plans to roll out a ‘game-changing’ antiviral pill that people who test positive for the coronavirus can take at home.

Molnupiravir, sometimes referred to as Lagevrio, could be offered to the most vulnerable patients by Christmas, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid is reportedly preparing to announce the launch of a nationwide pilot for the drug, which Britain became the first country to approve last month.

Sky News may report that a letter has been sent to local health officials regarding the planned deployment. However, a timeline for the start of the program has not yet been confirmed.

The deployment will aim to prevent vulnerable coronavirus patients from becoming seriously ill and needing hospital treatment.

Molnupiravir can be taken by those who have tested positive for COVID and who have at least one risk factor for developing a serious illness, such as obesity, being over 60, diabetes, or heart disease.

The NHS would offer pill cures to clinically vulnerable and immunosuppressive patients within 48 hours of testing positive for COVID-19[feminine[feminine.

Executives at hospitals and general practitioners have reportedly been told the health service will be setting up a series of ‘COVID drug delivery units’ to help get the drug to patients as quickly as possible once they are tested positive for the virus.

A patient deemed to be at high risk for complications from coronavirus would be called by their local COVID-19 drug delivery unit to be offered the drug after testing positive, according to reports.

It is expected that most people will be offered a course of tablets to take at home, but some people will be given the medicine intravenously in hospital.

In October, the government announced that it had obtained 480,000 courses of molnupiravir after a study showed it reduced the rate of hospitalizations and death by 50% in patients with mild to moderate symptoms.

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The Health Secretary said the drug “will be a game-changer for the most vulnerable and the immunocompromised” after the UK became the first to approve it.

Developed by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and Merck Sharp & Dohme, the drug works by interfering with virus replication.

It prevents COVID-19 from multiplying, keeping levels low in the body and ultimately reducing the severity of the disease.

The drug should be taken as soon as possible after a positive test and within the first five days, advises the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency.

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