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2nd COVID Pill Is Headed Our Way, but With Caveats

Experts think Merck's molnupiravir will take second stage to Pfizer's Paxlovid due to safety risks

(Newser) - US health regulators on Thursday authorized the second pill against COVID-19, providing another easy-to-use medication to battle the rising tide of omicron infections. The Food and Drug Administration's authorization of Merck's molnupiravir comes one day after the agency cleared a competing drug from Pfizer . That pill, Paxlovid, is...

One Potential COVID Treatment Not as Potent as Hoped

Merck's pill, awaiting FDA review, is less effective than preliminary tests suggested

(Newser) - The COVID virus keeps mutating , and drugmakers are racing to adapt along with it. But on that front, Merck reported some relatively disappointing news about a pill under development—molnupiravir turns out to be 30% effective at reducing hospitalizations and deaths, which is down from preliminary estimates of 50%, reports...

Vaccine Lab Worker Cleaning Freezer Makes Disturbing Find
Vaccine Lab Worker Cleaning
Freezer Makes Disturbing Find
in case you missed it

Vaccine Lab Worker Cleaning Freezer Makes Disturbing Find

FBI, CDC investigating 15 'questionable vials,' some labeled 'smallpox,' found at Merck facility near Philly

(Newser) - What started out as a routine chore in a Pennsylvania vaccine research lab this week has ended up attracting the attention of the FBI and CDC. According to an alert sent out Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security, a worker at a Merck facility near Philly, in Montgomery County,...

2 More Conglomerates Are Breaking Up

J&J, Toshiba announce plans to separate their businesses in coming years

(Newser) - Johnson & Johnson plans to split into two publicly traded companies. And in case you're wondering, no, they won't be called "Johnson I" and "Johnson II." Johnson & Johnson will keep its name and its title as the world's largest health-products company by sales...

First Country Approves Pill to Treat COVID
UK OKs the First COVID Pill

UK OKs the First COVID Pill

UK aims to deploy molnupiravir 'as soon as possible'

(Newser) - Britain granted conditional authorization on Thursday to the only pill shown to successfully treat COVID-19 so far. It is the first country to OK the treatment from drugmaker Merck, although it wasn't immediately clear how quickly the pill would be available, the AP reports. The pill was licensed for...

AstraZeneca, Merck Offer Good News on COVID Treatments

AZ's antibody treatment halves risk of death, severe illness; Merck asks FDA to OK antiviral pill

(Newser) - Good news on the AstraZeneca front, though not about its vaccine. Per Reuters , the UK drugmaker announced Monday that its AZD7442 antibody treatment, meant to be injected into patients showing symptoms of COVID, led to a "statistically significant reduction in severe COVID-19 or death," compared to mildly to...

Merck's COVID Pill Trial Went So Well It Was Halted Early

Emergency use authorization could be next for antiviral drug molnupiravir after positive results

(Newser) - The makers of what could be the first antiviral pill for COVID-19 said Friday that they will request emergency use authorization in the US as soon as possible. An independent board of experts monitoring the clinical trial of molnupiravir from drug-maker Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics recommended it be halted early...

Scientists: COVID Pill May Be Right Around the Corner

At least 3 promising antiviral drugs used to treat the disease in early stages are in clinical trials

(Newser) - We've got the vaccine. Next up: the pill? That's what scientists are crossing their fingers on regarding COVID treatment, with at least three antiviral drugs in clinical trials that have the potential to be a "game changer," keeping the worst symptoms at bay in infected patients...

Two Pharmaceutical Rivals Team Up on Vaccine

Merck will help Johnson & Johnson manufacture and distribute newly approved vaccine

(Newser) - Drugmaker Merck will help produce rival Johnson & Johnson’s newly approved coronavirus vaccine , per the AP . The announcement comes as the White House looks to speed the production of the single-dose vaccine. Officials have said J&J faced unexpected production issues with its vaccine and produced only 3.9...

One of the Nation's Few Black CEOs Is Stepping Down

Ken Frazier's departure at Merck reduces the number at Fortune 500 companies to 3

(Newser) - Ken Frazier, the longtime chief executive of Merck and one of the few remaining Black CEOs of a Fortune 500 company, is retiring, per the AP . Frazier, Merck's CEO for the past decade, will be replaced by Rob Davis, the chief financial officer, the company said Thursday. Frazier will...

Drug Shows Dramatic Results in Lung Cancer Trial

New hope in fight against the most common form of lung cancer

(Newser) - For the first time, a treatment that boosts the immune system greatly improved survival in people newly diagnosed with the most common form of lung cancer, the AP reports. In the study, Merck's Keytruda, given with chemotherapy, cut in half the risk of dying or having the cancer...

Trump Lashes Out at CEO Who Criticized Va. Response

Merck's Kenneth Frazier quits federal panel in protest

(Newser) - Critics of President Trump's response to racial violence in Virginia have been waiting to see whether he will condemn white supremacists on Monday. He may yet do that, but first he condemned one of those critics. "Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President'...

Ebola Vaccine 100% Effective: 'We Will Not Be Defenseless'

rVSV-ZEBOV has been fast-tracked by regulators

(Newser) - Excellent news as 2016 draws to a close: Scientists say they've created an Ebola vaccine that appears to be 100% effective. In a trial involving more than 11,000 at-risk people in Guinea, nobody given the vaccine developed the virus after a 10-day incubation period, researchers wrote in a...

Inside the Odd Origins of an Allegedly Ruinous Hair-Loss Drug

Propecia's backstory begins with 'male pseudo hermaphrodites'

(Newser) - It's a little pink pill taken once daily and prescribed to millions of men. A sliver of those users allege it was a devastating choice. Writing for Tonic , Lisa Marshall reports a class-action suit against Merck over finasteride, better known as Propecia, will be heard late next year. In...

Ebola Vaccine Trial Halted Over Side Effects

Leading vaccine candidate delayed by joint pain in volunteers

(Newser) - Swiss researchers have suspended the testing of one of the leading Ebola vaccine candidates after some volunteers reported unexpected side effects. In a statement issued today, the University of Geneva Hospital said the trial—which had vaccinated 59 people since November—had been suspended "as a precautionary measure."...

After Cows' Feet Fall Apart, Feedlot Drug Is Questioned
After Cows' Feet Fall Apart,
Feedlot Drug Is Questioned

After Cows' Feet Fall Apart, Feedlot Drug Is Questioned

Reuters' special report zeroes in on Merck's muscle-building Zilmax

(Newser) - It's no surprise that America's cattle are pumped full of pharmaceuticals , but Reuters digs in to one particular drug—a muscle-building feed additive known as Zilmax that's manufactured by Merck and has been available in the US since 2007—whose alleged ill effects may be painfully visible....

Birth Control Called 'Deadly,' Still Sells Bigtime

NuvaRing known to cause scary blood clots

(Newser) - A potentially deadly contraceptive called NuvaRing is still on the US market—but why? That's what Marie Brenner aimed to find out in Vanity Fair . She learned that NuvaRing maker Merck made $623 million selling NuvaRing last year, despite users who developed terrifying blood clots and filed roughly 3,...

HPV Vaccine Price to Plummet for Poor Countries

Merck, GlaxoSmthKline will offer them for less than $5

(Newser) - Two of the world's biggest drug companies have agreed to slash the price of their HPV vaccines—which currently cost around $130 a dose in the US—down to less than $5 in some developing nations, the companies announced today. Thanks to a deal negotiated by the nonprofit GAVI...

Merck Pays $950M to Settle Vioxx Charges

Feds accused company of illegal marketing

(Newser) - Drug maker Merck will pay $950 million to resolve investigations into its marketing of the painkiller Vioxx. The Justice Department said Merck will pay $321.6 million in criminal fines and $628.4 million as a civil settlement agreement. The company also will plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge that...

HPV Vaccine-Maker Merck, Perry Cozier Than Claimed

Made major donations to Republican Governors Assocation

(Newser) - Rick Perry told Michele Bachmann in Monday night's GOP debate that he received only a $5,000 donation from HPV vaccine maker Merck, but his financial ties to the drug maker are closer than that figure suggests, the Washington Post finds. Perry's campaigns have received almost $30,000...

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