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12/30/2022, 9:29 AM (Source: TeleTrader)
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China greenlights import of Merck's COVID pill

China's National Medical Products Administration granted conditional authorization for the import of antiviral Lagevrio developed by Merck & Co. for the urgent use of COVID-19 treatment, the state media informed on Friday.

The pill is intended to treat mild to moderate novel coronavirus infection in adult patients with severe higher-risk factors such as diabetes, obesity, severe cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer. According to studies conducted by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), the antiviral oral drug Lagevrio, which received emergency use approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration last year, could be used as an "adequate alternative" to Pfizer's Paxlovid.

Earlier this week Chinese health authorities have announcened the easing of COVID-19 policy starting in January next year, claiming that the infection has become less "virulent." However, the number of positive coronavirus cases continued to surge nationwide, prompting governments globally to mandate testing for travelers coming from China.

Baha Breaking News (BBN) / AB