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An experimental pill from Merck reduced the frequency of chronic coughing enough to achieve the goal of two Phase 3 clinical trials, but the benefit relative to placebo was small and a majority of patients reported negative alterations to their sense of taste.

Merck presented detailed study results of its chronic cough drug gefapixant for the first time on Monday at the annual meeting of the European Respiratory Society. This followed its announcement last March that the Phase 3 studies achieved their primary endpoints.

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