Concerns growing that recently approved COVID-19 pills could prompt a new variant

Positivity over a potential COVID-19 pill has turned to apprehension as concern has arisen that it might cause more problems than it solves. 

According to a report by The Daily Caller, Merck’s newly-authorized COVID-19 pill, molnupiravir is meant to treat COVID-19, but it could come with serious risks.

Not only is it particularly concerning in regard to pregnant women, but some experts are also saying it could lead to the outbreak of a new variant.

The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for two antiviral pills earlier in the week.

One of the authorizations was given to Pfizer, for their drug paxlovid, and the second was given to Merk for molnupiravir.

While Phizer’s pill caused less controversy, the green light given to molnupiravir was nothing if not contentious as experts battled it out about the safety of the drug.

Eventually, The FDA’s Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee (ADAC) voted near the end of November to recommend Moderna’s drug with a narrow 13-10 margin.

However, even those who did vote for the controversial treatment had a few caveats to pass on:

“I don’t think I would want to take this drug, not knowing the effect it could have on my unborn child,” Dr. Roblena Walker, CEO of the public health non-profit EMAGAHA Inc. and ADAC member, said at the time. She voted yes.

Those who voted against the drug had much more dire warnings, saying that rather than assist with its 30% efficacy rate, the drug could prompt another outbreak.

“The drug works by mutating the organism, and this is an organism in which we have a lot of mutations creating problems for us already,” Weina said.
“Just like influenza and just like a lot of viruses, there’s a baseline relatively high mutation rate in these viruses. The fact is that most mutations are probably lethal to the organism, but a couple of them are going to end up being beneficial for the organism, and we’ve seen that with the successive different variants that have come out.”
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