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The first-ever COVID-19 pill may be just weeks away. A handful of other pills, inhalers, and nasal sprays also show promise.

Added 10-11-21 03:14:03pm EST - “Easy-to-take coronavirus treatments could complement vaccines. These are the most promising ones to watch.” - Businessinsider.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Businessinsider.com: “The first-ever COVID-19 pill may be just weeks away. A handful of other pills, inhalers, and nasal sprays also show promise.”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Thus far, doctors have relied on expensive, invasive drugs that are limited in supply and often complicated to administer. But biotech and pharma companies are now working on simpler treatments that people could take as pills, nasal sprays, or inhalers. 

An antiviral drug from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics is on track to become the first pill authorized to treat COVID-19. On Monday, the companies asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize that treatment, which was found to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death among adults with mild to moderate COVID-19. If the FDA thinks the data is sound enough, it could greenlight the pill within weeks. 

So far, the FDA has fully approved just one treatment for COVID-19: the antiviral drug remdesivir, which is administered via injection. The drug has been shown to shorten the recovery time of hospitalized patients.

The FDA also authorized the emergency use of monoclonal antibodies, drugs that help keep people with mild or moderate symptoms from developing severe COVID-19. These come in two forms: infusions or injections.

Pills or sprays, however, could make it easier for people to treat COVID-19 symptoms right away, perhaps without needing to visit hospitals. Pills are also likely to be cheaper than antibody infusions, which are free for patients but cost the US government more than $1,000 per dose.

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