New One-Dose Flu Drug Fast-Tracked by the FDA

New One-Dose Flu Drug Fast-Tracked by the FDA
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has fast-tracked a one-dose pill that treats the flu. The agency granted priority review to the drug, baloxavir marboxil, and will decide whether to approve it by the end of 2018.

“If approved, the pill would be the first new flu medication to be introduced in the U.S. in years, and the first in 2 decades to take a different approach to treating the flu.” [1]

Dr. David Agus said:

“This is the first drug that actually blocks the production of new virus. So you take it in one pill and it blocks the production of the virus and shortens the duration of the flu. It makes you feel better.” [2]

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) supported the development of the drug, which has already been approved in Japan.

Baloxavir marboxil works by interfering with a protein inside the flu virus. It shortens flu symptoms by more than a day and stops the flu from spreading in 1 day. By comparison, the most common flu drug, Tamiflu – which comes with potentially deadly side-effects – stops the flu from spreading in 3 days. Also, Tamiflu has 2 doses per day for 5 days, Agus explained. [2]

Read: Read This Before Buying Tamiflu

He added:

“When you look at public health, that’s exactly how you want it. This is a way of really, hopefully stopping the virus in its tracks. You saw entire schools closed for days this year.” [2]

It’s unclear how much baloxavir marboxil would cost in the U.S. In Japan, a single pill costs about $43.

Agus said:

“Certainly we hope to have an answer from the FDA by the end of the year and have this on the market. It’d be a hell of a Christmas present for all of us.” [2]

No word on the potential side effects attached to the new drug – yet.

Sources:

[1] WebMD

[2] CBS News

Note: The featured article article image is not one of baloxavir marboxil.