On Monday, Merck, a pharmaceutical company based in the U.S., announced it is seeking authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its COVID-19 pill “for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults who are at risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.”

“The extraordinary impact of this pandemic demands that we move with unprecedented urgency, and that is what our teams have done by submitting this application for molnupiravir to the FDA within 10 days of receiving the data,” Robert Davis, CEO of Merck, said in a statement.

Merck had stated previously that its internal testing showed that its Molnupiravir, an orally consumed antiviral pill, reduced the hospitalization rate by 50 percent.

Since the pandemic started, health officials have been looking for an effective antiviral that could prevent COVID-19 patients from developing severe symptoms.

The pharmaceutical company has already made a deal with several countries already, such as Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Australia.

“We are grateful to the clinical investigators and patients who have helped bring us to this important milestone. Without their significant contributions, today’s achievement would not be possible,” the statement read. “The submission to the FDA is a critical step towards making molnupiravir available to people who may benefit from an oral antiviral medicine that can be taken at home shortly after diagnosis with COVID-19.”

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