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June 11, 2021

Health Law Weekly

Federal Government Strikes $1.2 Billion Deal for Merck’s Antiviral

  • June 11, 2021

The federal government will buy roughly 1.7 million courses of Merck & Co.’s investigational antiviral, molnupiravir, if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes or approves the treatment, the Department of Health and Human Services announced June 9.

The treatment, which works by preventing the virus from replicating, is being evaluated in an ongoing Phase 3 trial for its potential to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death for patients with COVID-19. Final data from the trial, which will enroll 1,850 patients globally, is expected in the fall.

The purchase agreement is contingent on the FDA granting emergency use authorization or approval for molnupiravir.