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Merck gains over $3.2B in sales from coronavirus pill in Q1

Pharmaceutical firm estimates $5 to $5.5B from COVID-19 pill this year

US pharmaceutical firm Merck gained more than $3.2 billion in sales of its coronavirus pill during the first quarter of this year, according to its financial results statement released on Thursday.

The company said it generated sales of its COVID-19 oral treatment pill molnupiravir, also known as LAGEVRIO in the UK, primarily from the US, the UK, Japan, and Australia.

The firm said it estimates $5 to $5.5 billion from LAGEVRIO sales this year, and noted that it shares profit equally with its partner Ridgeback,which is reflected in cost of sales.

Merck has developed the oral treatment pill with US-based biotech firm Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.

Merck announced molnupiravir on Oct. 1, saying it reduces hospitalizations and deaths by 30% based on clinical trials of adults with high-risk factors.

It was approved as a second at-home drug treatment for the virus by the US Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 23, a day after Pfizer’s Paxlovid got a green light.

Merck said the its oral treatment pill has so far received multiple authorizations around the world and it is available in more than 30 countries.

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