The antiviral, molnupiravir, does not reduce coronavirus hospital admissions or deaths in vaccinated people at high risk, new research suggests.
But the treatment was associated with a shorter recovery time, by four days, and reduced viral load.
People who received molnupiravir reported feeling better compared to those who received usual care, the study found.
Researchers suggest that while the drug could have some benefits in terms of symptom reduction, the cost of the drug may mean it is not the best choice for the general population, given the study findings.
But it may be useful in reducing the pressure on UK health systems, they added.
Chris Butler, professor of primary care in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences and co-chief investigator of Panoramic, said: “Finding effective, safe and scalable early treatments for Covid-19 in the community is the next major frontier in our research response to the ongoing worldwide pandemic.
“It is in the community where treatments could have a massive reach and impact.
“But decisions about who to treat should always be based on evidence from rigorous clinical trials that involve people who would most likely be prescribed the drugs.”
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Source: The Independent, 23 December 2022