Coronavirus updates: First oral drug for COVID shows promise, says Merck

KENILORTH, NJ — Pharmaceutical company Merck says it is seeing positive results from antiviral drugs being tested to treat COVID.

According to data released Friday morning, the company says a series of pills started within five days of COVID testing could reduce the risk of hospitalization and death by 50%.

This is if the patient has mild or moderate symptoms.

Merck, which is headquartered in New Jersey, is now preparing for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

If authorized, it would become the first oral antiviral drug for COVID-19.

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