Merck Says It’s Working With China to Bring In Its Covid Pill


Merck & Co. said it is working with Chinese regulators to explore the possibility of bringing its Covid-19 pill to China.

The company, responding in an email to questions from Bloomberg News late on Friday, didn’t give further details.

The drug, molnupiravir, received its first approval in the U.K. earlier this week after clinical studies showed it prevented hospitalization by half among mild and moderate patients.

It is currently being reviewed for approval in the U.S. and European Union. Merck’s oral pill, along with candidates from other drugmakers including Pfizer Inc., are seen along with mass vaccination as crucial in ending the pandemic.

Chinese company Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co. has sought to bring the mRNA vaccine co-developed by BioNTech SE and Pfizer to China but the country’s drug regulator has not approved it.