Merck & Co. Inc. said on Tuesday its COVID-19 pill was not effective at cutting the risk of coronavirus infections in people living with someone infected with the virus.

Merck & Co. on Thursday forecast 2023 earnings below Wall Street estimates along with an expected steep decline in sales of its COVID-19 antiviral treatment, and its shares fell around 2%.

Sinopharm, now the China distributor of Merck & Co’s COVID-19 antiviral treatment molnupiravir, said its biotech unit received clinical trial approval from the National Medical Products Administration.

The company said today it would take legal action against some pharmaceutical companies after noticing that some manufacturers were supplying COVID-19 drugs to some provinces and cities saying the medicines were authorized by Merck.

Merck & Co. Inc.’s COVID antiviral molnupiravir speeds up recovery but does not reduce the hospitalization or death rate in higher-risk vaccinated adults, detailed data from a large study showed on Thursday.

Merck & Co. on Thursday reported better-than-expected third-quarter sales and profit on a jump in demand for blockbuster cancer immunotherapy Keytruda and human papillomavirus vaccine Gardasil.

The drugmaker said in a statement that it reached a cooperation framework agreement with Sinopharm that grants the Chinese company distribution and exclusive import rights of the medicine in the China mainland market.

Researchers at Case Western University looked at the real-world experiences of 13,644 patients who were treated with Paxlovid or Lagevrio (molnupiravir) during the first half of 2022. The study was intended to determine the prevalence of three types of rebound outcomes with these two therapies, each of which has emergency use authorizations as treatments for COVID-19. In that study (currently in preprint on medRxiv, co-author Pamela Davis, M.D. and colleagues found that the 7-day and 30-day rebound rates associated with Paxlovid treatments, respectively, were 3.53% and 5.4% for COVID-19 reinfection; 2.31% and 5.87% for COVID-19 symptoms; and 0.44% and 0.77% for hospitalizations.

People in socially and economically disadvantaged regions are about half as likely to receive an oral antiviral COVID-19 pill than residents of wealthier zip codes, according to a U.S. government study published on Tuesday.