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France cancels order for Merck's COVID-19 antiviral drug

France has cancelled its order for Merck & Co's COVID-19 antiviral drug following disappointing trial data and hopes instead to receive Pfizer's competing drug before the end of January, the health minister said on Wednesday. France is the first country to publicly say it has cancelled an order for the Merck treatment after the company released data in late November suggesting its drug was markedly less effective than previously thought, reducing hospitalisations and deaths in its clinical trial of high-risk individuals by about 30%. 'The latest studies weren't good,' Olivier Veran told BFM TV. A spokesperson for Merck said the country's planned purchase did not take place after the French health authority refused to authorise the pill earlier this month.

Reuters - December 22, 2021

View the full story here: https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/france-cancels-order-mercks-covid-19-antiviral-drug-2021-12-22/