(GoRealNewsNow.com) – In what can only be classified as a bombshell development that all Americans need to be aware of, a widely used COVID pill reportedly can cause mutations in the virus that spread to other people.
Specifically, a recent study unveiled this week indicates Merck’s popular antiviral pill for Covid might lead to viral mutations that can be transmitted to others. This revelation is prompting inquiries regarding the drug’s potential to hasten the evolution of the virus.
The implications of these findings might intensify the evaluation of molnupiravir’s efficacy. Molnupiravir, one of the pioneer treatments for Covid available globally during the pandemic, functions by inducing mutations in the virus’s genetic material. This action either weakens or eradicates the virus, reducing the viral load. Nevertheless, the study showcased in Nature journal on Monday revealed that certain mutated versions of the virus can survive molnupiravir treatment and subsequently be transmitted to other individuals.
By examining 15 million Covid genomes, researchers from the U.S. and U.K. were able to discern the mutations that emerged. Their research concluded that the incidence of mutations escalated in 2022, corresponding with the period when many countries began administering molnupiravir.
However, the study asserts that there is no proven link between molnupiravir, commercially known as Lagevrio, and the emergence of more virulent or contagious Covid strains.
Theo Sanderson, the study’s principal author from the Francis Crick Institute in London, emphasized the significance of this research, especially for regulatory bodies that are evaluating molnupiravir’s pros and cons. He shared his insights on X, previously known as Twitter.
Responding to the study’s claims, a representative for Merck critiqued the researchers for presuming that the examined mutations were from patients treated with molnupiravir without any “documented evidence of that transmission.”
The Merck representative elaborated, stating that the study’s conclusions hinge on the correlation between the geographic location where the viral sequence was identified and the sequencing time frame in nations where molnupiravir was accessible. Additionally, genomes possessing these mutations were seldom identified and were tied to isolated incidents.
Earlier in February, Merck had contested another publication by the same research group, which hinted that molnupiravir might be causing the virus to mutate in some individuals. Drawing from data available then, a Merck spokesperson voiced skepticism about molnupiravir’s role in inducing viral mutations.
This revelation emerges at a time when Covid is re-establishing its presence in the U.S., primarily influenced by the emergence of new variants.
Interestingly, molnupiravir’s global sales have seen a decline. In the U.S. and several other nations, reliance on this drug has decreased, with Merck’s third-quarter sales plummeting to approximately $200 million. This is an 83% decline from the over $1 billion recorded during the equivalent period the previous year.
Given its propensity to induce genetic alterations, molnupiravir has always been a subject of debate. In 2021’s concluding months, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave a nod for its emergency use. However, the FDA advises against administering Lagevrio to pregnant women due to potential fetal risks suggested by non-clinical research. Furthermore, molnupiravir isn’t approved for patients below 18 years old due to potential impacts on bone and cartilage development.