Merck’s COVID pill is last choice for U.S. patients, global use varies

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By Deena Beasley (Reuters) – Merck & Co’s new antiviral pill, once touted as a potential game changer for treating COVID-19, is the last choice among four available options for at-risk patients given its relatively low efficacy and potential safety issues, U.S. doctors, healthcare systems and pharmacies told Reuters. A rival oral treatment from Pfizer Inc, Paxlovid, is in high demand, followed by an intravenous antibody therapy made by GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology. With supplies of those products tight, doctors facing a surge of cases caused by the Omicron variant are also turning to …

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