Success of Covid Antiviral Pills Hinges on Access to Speedy, Accurate Tests

The promising antiviral drugs to treat Covid can halt hospitalizations and deaths, but only if they’re given to patients within three to five days of their first symptoms

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Within a few weeks, perhaps before many Americans finish decorating for the holidays, the U.S. could have access to a new antiviral pill from Merck expected to alter the deadly trajectory of the covid-19 pandemic — with a second option from Pfizer to follow shortly after.

Now under federal review, both pills are being hailed by infectious disease doctors not prone to superlatives.

“This is truly a game changer,” said Dr. Daniel Griffin, an expert on infectious diseases and immunology at Columbia University. “This is up there with vaccines. It’s not a substitute for vaccines; we still want to get people vaccinated. But, boy, this is just another great tool to have.”

Read the full story on

Contact Us