Australia buys 300,000 courses of new Covid-19 pill

Australia has purchased a new drug that could potentially halve the COVID death rate.

Pharmaceutical giant Merck is developing an antiviral tablet that can treat mild to moderate symptoms.

It’s called ‘Molnupiravir’ or ‘molnu’ and comes in the form of a pill making it easier to distribute.


It has to be taken twice a day for five days.

The manufacturer says it could potentially halve the chance of a patient dying or being hospitalised, but is best used on people with symptoms that don’t require hospitalisation.

The federal government has ordered 300,000 courses of the drug, despite it not yet being approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Nine Radio it’s another step towards a return to normal.

“Because it’s a tablet and you don’t have the cold chain storage refrigeration issues – any of that – it just shows how the medical science is moving very quickly to help us live with this virus.

“But what I want to stress is that the best protection against covid is the vaccine,” Mr Morrison said.