By TOM MURPHY
AP Health Writer
Better-than-expected sales of its COVID-19 treatment and the cancer blockbuster Keytruda helped push Merck past profit forecasts in the first quarter. The drugmaker say its coronavirus capsule treatment Lagevrio brought in almost $3.2 billion in sales in the quarter. Analysts were expecting $2.54 billion for the drug, which debuted late last year under the name molnupiravir. Keytruda registered $4.81 billion in sales, while analysts expected $4.47 billion. Overall, the drugmaker’s adjusted earnings totaled $2.14 per share, while sales jumped 50% to $15.9 billion. FactSet says analyts expected earnings of $1.83 per share on about $14.55 billion in revenue.