Brazilian regulators greenlight Merck Covid pill

Brazilian regulators greenlight Merck Covid pill
Photo: ERICPTH/Shutterstock

Brazilian health regulator Anvisa gave its approval for antiviral pill molnupiravir to be used to treat mild cases of Covid. Manufacturers Merck had filed an emergency use request back in November 2021.

Regulators authorized the pill for adults only, and advised against its use for pregnant or breastfeeding women. The drug will only be available with a prescription, with Anvisa’s board members stressing molnupiravir is “for use in very specific situations, not being a panacea for widespread consumption.”

Back in November 2021, Merck told American regulators that its pill reduces the risk of Covid hospitalization and death by 30 percent — down from an earlier estimate of 50 percent.

Anvisa had already authorized the use of another Covid pill, produced by Pfizer.