Dr. Fauci at it again as He Calls Merck’s COVID-19 Pill “Impressive:” True Trial Outcomes Less Impressive

Dr. Fauci at it again as He Calls Merck’s COVID-19 Pill “Impressive:” True Trial Outcomes Less Impressive

Note that views expressed in this opinion article are the writer’s personal views and not necessarily those of TrialSite.

Dr. Ron Brown – Opinion Editorial

October 1, 2021

An interim analysis of Merck and Ridgeback's new COVID-19 antiviral pill, Molnupiravir, reports an approximately 50% reduction in risk of deaths or hospitalizations for patients with mild or moderate COVID-19. Molnupiravir reduces risk of hospitalization or death. Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, calls this outcome “impressive.” Fauci says new pill 'impressive'.

The phase 3 clinical trial’s approximate 50% reduction in deaths is reported as the relative risk reduction (RRR), which is actually 48.3%. Confidence intervals (95%) are 20% - 66.5%.

More importantly, what is not reported in the trial results is the absolute risk reduction (ARR), which is a more meaningful outcome to assess the pill’s potential clinical and public health applications. According to the Food and Drug Administration, trial results should report both the RRR and ARR. Communicating Risks and Benefits.

Compared to the Merck trial’s RRR, the missing absolute risk red...

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