Are oral medicines for Covid-19 on the horizon? Elizabeth Tracey reports


The best strategy to mitigate Covid-19 infection is still prevention with vaccines, but if you develop the disease, new oral medicines are poised to take their place in treatment. Mark Sulkowski, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins, explains.

Sulkowski: There’s still I think a strong push for oral antivirals, both a protease inhibitor in development from Pfizer and a drug that acts on the polymerase, molnupiravir, that Merck is helping to develop. I think both of those hold promise for early treatment and prevention. And there is a an EUA for the Regeneron monoclonal for prevention. I think the challenge is just the rollout of that. You’re now talking about people who do not have Covid-19, and figuring out how we’ll administer that.  :30 

Sulkowski says Merck issued a press release describing its new medicine, but notes that no studies have been published on the drug yet, but he welcomes new options to manage Covid-19. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.