Pfizer, Merck’s COVID-19 Drugs Are Real Game Changers

With the last two years filled to the brim with bad and gloomy news, it’s refreshing to finally hear something positive: If the claims of Pfizer and Merck regarding their coronavirus drugs turn out to be true, especially those of Pfizer, we really are seeing one. possible to end the pandemic.

Antiviral pills will not make the disease go away. Most likely, the virus will remain with us for a long time and will also remain one of the leading causes of death among the world’s population.

But what these drugs can do is end the crisis that had so seriously derailed our lives, end fears that massive infections will lead to the collapse of the healthcare system, and end any calls for drastic restrictions to prevent it or fend.

Both medications come in simple pill form and must be taken shortly after symptoms appear. Both attempt to disrupt the replication of the virus using very different mechanisms. Both show good results, although while the data from Merck is good, the data from Pfizer is fantastic. In both cases, people with underlying health problems, such as heart disease, obesity, or diabetes, will be asked to take 30 to 40 pills for about a week.

Merck’s drug hit the market first and has already been approved by the desperate British regulator, where there is a worrying increase in cases, hospitalizations and mortality.

It is 50% effective in preventing hospitalization and death. The clinical trials only evaluated people who were not vaccinated.

Merck’s drug was originally designed for the flu, disrupting virus replication by introducing genetic errors. One of the immediate questions that have arisen in this regard is whether mutations in the virus could also affect the immune system or other cells.

According to Pfizer, their pill has shown better efficacy rates (89%) and, unlike Merck’s, it was originally designed for COVID-19.

The results were so good that the experiment was stopped for reasons of medical ethics: those who received the placebo could not be allowed to remain hospitalized and die for the sake of comparison when a drug was immediately available. The company is currently seeking emergency approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The history of Pfizer’s pill actually starts from the original SARS epidemic in the early years and the company simply had to make some adjustments for COVID-19.

It must be taken together with another known antiviral drug, which is part of the AIDS drug cocktail; the second drug is taken to slow down the metabolic rate and allow the substance to work more effectively.

In Pfizer’s case, the drug does not mutate the replication processes of the virus, but rather inhibits the activity of an essential enzyme that allows the virus to replicate within the cells of the body.

Clearly, the Pfizer drug is preferable; so on Friday, its shares soared, while Merck’s shares plummeted significantly. In both cases, there were no deaths among those who received the drug, compared with 15 deaths in the test group. The drugs, according to the companies, are effective against all existing coronavirus strains.

It is important to note that these are two publicly traded companies. Lying in reports about such experiments is a very dangerous thing for them. The costs of both drugs are expected to be very high, in the hundreds of dollars per treatment. This is very disappointing and has good implications for their balance sheets and bad for public health around the world, but also for the prospect of new strains of coronavirus emerging. The sooner the disease is treated, either by an immune response elicited by a vaccine or by one of these drugs, the lower the chance that a dangerous mutation will occur.

It should also be noted that the world is not totally desperate for these drugs.

We have a variety of vaccines that work and even children are now eligible to receive them. We have a drug protocol that significantly reduces mortality with relatively conservative treatment (steroids). There are monoclonal antibodies, the same ones that former US President Donald Trump received, that are now available in Israel as well. PSR and rapid tests are widely available, as well as N95 face masks that are largely capable of reducing infections. In a few months, drugs will be offered to reduce hospitalization and death to those who are already infected.

But all these combined create a new reality, but with some important caveats.

First, this allows for massive infections, which has always been and still is a very bad idea because it can result in the emergence of vaccine-resistant strains.

Since we don’t know what the long-term effects of COVID-19 are for those who have recovered, and since none of these tools are 100% effective, more infections mean greater chances that some will fall victim to the statistics.

Those who were vaccinated with a second dose and subsequently received a booster injection now enjoy a higher level of protection against the virus than either of these drugs could offer. It is not advisable to wait or depend only on one of these means, but to use all the options at our disposal.

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