New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: As the world continues to fight the deadly COVID-19 infection which has claimed the lives of over 5 million people, Merck & Co Inc and Pfizer have claimed that they have developed antiviral pills against the pathogen that can reduce the hospitalisation and death rate significantly. Though more studies are being conducted about the two pills, they have already been termed as 'game-changer' against the pandemic.

Let's have a look at antiviral COVID-19 pills of Merck and Pfizer:

Pfizer vs Merck dosage and efficacy:

Pfizer has claimed that its antiviral COVID-19 pill, which will be known as Paxlovid, can reduce the risk of hospitalisation or death by 89 per cent in vulnerable groups given the treatment within three days of the onset of symptoms. The pill will be given to those infected with the pathogen in three doses daily for five days.

"These data suggest that our oral antiviral candidate, if approved by regulatory authorities, has the potential to save patients' lives, reduce the severity of COVID-19 infections, and eliminate up to nine out of ten hospitalisations," Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla said in a statement.

Also Read -- Jagran Explainer: Paxlovid, Pfizer's antiviral COVID-19 pill that can cut hospital, death risk by 89 pc

Meanwhile, Merck, which will be known as 'Molnupiravir', has said that its pill can reduce the risk of hospitalisation or death by 50 per cent in patients at risk for severe illness given the treatment within five days of onset. The pill, which has the brand name Lavgevrio in Britain, will be taken by an infected person twice a day for five days.

"With the virus continuing to circulate widely, and because therapeutic options currently available are infused and/or require access to a healthcare facility, antiviral treatments that can be taken at home to keep people with COVID-19 out of the hospital are critically needed," the company stated.

Pfizer vs Merck safety:

Both Pfizer and Merck have claimed that their antiviral COVID-19 pills are safe. However, Merck has said that 12 per cent of people in the treatment group who were given its pill experienced drug-related adverse events. The rate was 11 per cent in the placebo patient group. Similarly, Pfizer said that adverse events were reported only in 20 per cent treatment and placebo groups.

Also Read -- Jagran Explainer: Merck's antiviral COVID-19 pill which is termed as a 'game-changer' against pandemic

Pfizer vs Merck cost:

The two companies are yet to declare the price of their respective antiviral COVID-19 pills.

Pfizer vs Merck supplies:

Pfizer has said that it will produce over 1.80 lakh Paxlovid packs by the end of 2021 while 50 million packs will be produced by the end of 2022. Merck, on the other hand, is expected to manufacture 10 million courses of treatment by the end of 2021 while 20 million sets will be produced in 2022.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma