STORY AT-A-GLANCE An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted to grant emergency authorization to Merck’s oral COVID-19 pill molnupiravir (Lagevrio) — by a narrow 13-to-10 margin Among those who received the drug, the rate of all-cause hospitalization or death was 6.8%, compared to 9.7% in the placebo group — a relative risk reduction of just 30% The full data showed more hospital admissions among patients taking molnupiravir (6.2%) than among those taking a placebo (4.7%) Molnupiravir works by triggering mutations that ultimately kill the virus; a risk of cancer and birth defects is possible, and the […]

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