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Molnupiravir Use Among Patients with COVID-19 in Real-World Settings: A Systematic Literature Review.

INTRODUCTION: Molnupiravir (MOV) is an oral antiviral for the treatment of individuals with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 and at high risk of progression to severe disease. Our objective was to conduct a systematic literature review (SLR) of evidence on the effectiveness of MOV in reducing the risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes in real-world outpatient settings.

METHODS: The SLR was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses 2020 guidelines and using pre-determined population, intervention, comparison, outcome, time, and study design inclusion criteria. Eligible studies were published between January 1, 2021, and March 10, 2023, and evaluated the real-world effectiveness of MOV compared to no treatment in reducing the risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes among outpatients ≥ 18 years of age with a laboratory-confirmed diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

RESULTS: Nine studies from five countries were included in the review. The size of the MOV-treated group ranged from 359 to 7818 individuals. Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2 were dominant in all study periods. Most studies noted differences in the baseline characteristics of the MOV-treated and untreated control groups, with the treated groups generally being older and with more comorbidities. Eight studies reported that treatment with MOV was associated with a significantly reduced risk of at least one severe COVID-19 outcome in at least one age group, with greater benefits consistently observed among older age groups.

CONCLUSIONS: In this SLR study, treatment with MOV was effective in reducing the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 caused by Omicron variants, especially for older individuals. Differences in the ages and baseline comorbidities of the MOV-treated and control groups may have led to underestimation of the effectiveness of MOV in many observational studies. Real-world studies published to date thus provide additional evidence supporting the continued benefits of MOV in non-hospitalized adults with COVID-19.

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