U.S. FDA removes COVID test requirements for Pfizer, Merck pills

FILE PHOTO: The Merck logo is seen at a gate to the Merck & Co campus in Rahway, New Jersey, U.S., July 12, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday removed the need for a positive test for COVID-19 treatments from Pfizer Inc and Merck & Co Inc.

Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s Lagevrio pills were given emergency use authorizations in Dec. 2021 for patients with mild-to-moderate COVID who tested positive for the virus, and who were at risk of progressing to severe COVID.

Still, the FDA said the patients should have a current diagnosis of mild-to-moderate COVID infection.

The health regulator said individuals with recent known exposure with signs and symptoms may be diagnosed by their healthcare providers with COVID even if they have a negative test result.

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