June 10, 2021 ~ Reuters ~
US Signs $1.2 Bln Deal for 1.7 Mln Courses of Merck’s Experimental COVID-19 Drug
(Reuters) – Merck & Co Inc said on Wednesday the U.S. government has agreed to pay about $1.2 billion for 1.7 million courses of its experimental COVID-19 treatment, if it is proven to work in an ongoing large trial and authorized by U.S. regulators.
The oral antiviral treatment, molnupiravir, aims to stop COVID-19 from progressing and can be given early in the course of the disease, similar to Tamiflu to treat influenza.
The treatment course being tested in the trial is an oral dose given every 12 hours for five days.
Merck expects to have more than 10 million courses of the therapy available by the end of this year and said it was in discussions with other countries interested in advance purchase agreements for molnupiravir.