The FDA just issued an Emergency Use Authorization for Merck’s ChinCOVID pill, molnupiravir. If you think Pax is bad, consider this.
Molnupiravir is a medication that works by introducing errors into the SARS-CoV-2 virus’ genetic code, which prevents the virus from further replicating. Molnupiravir is administered as four 200 milligram capsules taken orally every 12 hours for five days, for a total of 40 capsules. Molnupiravir is not authorized for use for longer than five consecutive days.
That “genetic code” would be RNA, the same sort of stuff your cells use to send protein construction instructions to your ribosomes. Unless molnupiravir magically detects just the RNA sequences of all the SARS-CoV-2 variants, and targets only those, you would be at risk of coding errors and mutations.
What could possibly go wrong? It’s not as if this had long term studies watching for issues like cancer and birth defects years down the road. Oh, wait.
Molnupiravir was originally developed to treat influenza at Emory University by the university’s drug innovation company, Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory (DRIVE), but was reportedly abandoned for mutagenicity concerns.
What does the FDA also have to say?
Based on findings from animal reproduction studies, molnupiravir may cause fetal harm when administered to pregnant individuals.
Males of reproductive potential who are sexually active with females of childbearing potential are advised to use a reliable method of birth control correctly and consistently during treatment with molnupiravir and for at least three months after the final dose.
YMMV, but I can’t see me taking this stuff for COVID-19, especially when the current dominant strain in the US amounts to the common cold in most people. As one pundit — darned if I can recall who — put it recently, Omicron has now killed as many people in the US as Alec Baldwin.
Which may be pushing it, because reports on the Texas death say the person died with it, not of it, and had co-morbidities.
Added: How ’bout that?
“We can’t confirm that the person died from COVID but we can say that he was Omicron positive at the time of his death.”