First pill to treat Covid gets approval in UK

 Now the first pill designed to treat covid has been approved by the UK medicines regulator. The tablet will be given twice a day to vulnerable patients.

It was recently uh diagnosed with the disease. Let's get more with our health correspondent, Catherine de costa health. Secretaries described this as a game-changer and all the indications are that it will be yeah.

This is really good news, particularly for vulnerable groups, so the elderly and people with a weakened immune system may not respond well to the covid vaccine. Now, before we had treatments that were given in hospital to patients that were seriously ill, this is the first drug that can be given as a pill at home in the early stages of an infection clinical trials found that the tablet molnu piravir half the risk of Hospitalization and death in at-risk patients, now patients Will be given a tablet twice a day and the treatment works by stopping the virus, making copies of itself. So reducing the levels of the virus in the body reduces the severity of somebody describing it as mutating itself.

To death, which I thought was quite a good description so today the UK regulator, the mhra approved it saying it's safe and effective, and it should be given um as soon as possible after getting a positive covid test or Within five days of symptoms. Starting and it will be given to people with mild to moderate covid with at least one risk factor, so that could be obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and older age. So I think we've ordered what half a million or more.

When will they be dispensed yeah, so u. s drug company behind this thinks that it can produce about 10 million courses of this drug by the end of the year? As you say, the UK government has pre-ordered nearly half a million Courses um.

We don't know how much it's paying for that. The u. s is ordered about 1.7 million and is paying about 500 pounds per course. The UK government's in talks with the NHS to see how quickly it can roll it out to patients, and this will be done through a national study as soon as possible. We're not given exact details of the time scale yet, and there are still some questions about the logistics of how it will be made accessible.

It is worth pointing out that this is an alternative to vaccination. People are still urged to get their vaccines, their boosters their flu jabs, but this is hugely important because no vaccine is 100 effective. Some people can't have vaccines or don't respond well to them.

So this is another weapon in the fight against covid and it's helping reduce you know those most at risk from you know: serious illness, reducing hospital admissions and therefore, Ultimately, pressure on the NHS.

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