Over-60s to be offered ‘game-changing’ Covid pill that can be taken at home

Joseph B. Hash

Over-60s will be offered a “game-changing” Covid treatment that can be taken at home, as Britain becomes the first country to licence the pill.

Lagevrio, also known as Molnupiravir, is also the first drug which can be taken orally, rather than intravenously, to be approved to treat the virus. 

The drug was “safe and effective” at reducing the risk of hospitalisation and death among those with mild to moderate Covid who were at increased risk of it becoming severe, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said.

Clinical trials have found the pill cuts the risk of hospitalisation or death by 50 per cent for some patients. 

The Government announced last month that it had secured 480,000 courses of the drug and a national study will now gather further data on the benefits of the treatment.

Patients are expected to be prescribed the drug by their GP over the phone and have it delivered by, or collected through, a pharmacy.

Sajid Javid, the Health and Social Care Secretary, hailed the announcement as a “game-changer”. 

“Today is a historic day for our country, as the UK is now the first country in the world to approve an antiviral that can be taken at home for Covid-19.

“This will be a game-changer for the most vulnerable and the immunosuppressed, who will soon be able to receive the ground-breaking treatment.”

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