Covid pill molnupiravir rejected by French health authorities

The sentence fell on Friday December 10. French health authorities have refused early access to antiviral treatment against mild forms of Covid-19, molnupiravir, judging its effectiveness less than that of existing treatments. The High Authority for Health (HAS) does not allow early access to this drug for patients in France for curative treatment of mild and moderate forms of Covid-19, she announced in a press release.

This experimental drug administered orally is developed in France by a subsidiary of the American laboratory Merck, MSD France, under the name Lagevrio. MSD France requested early access – a procedure that allows a drug to be prescribed quickly – for adults infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, presenting mild to moderate forms but having a risk factor for developing a severe form of the disease.

Efficiency not sufficiently demonstrated

According to the HAS, “the efficacy results put forward by the laboratory are less good than those of the available treatments”. They would only reduce the risk of the disease progressing to a severe form by 30%, while some monoclonal antibodies are 80% effective. She further believes that the impact of treatment on reducing the presence of the virus in the patient “has not been demonstrated”.

In a press release, the MSD France laboratory “took note” of this refusal, regretting that the clinical data provided at this stage did not allow HAS to accede to its request. “The efficacy demonstrated by Lagevrio in clinical trials confirmed the additional benefit that it could bring to the arsenal of fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, especially since it allows simple care in town “, Pleads in particular its president, Clarisse Lhoste.

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