By MATTHEW PERRONE
AP Health Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health advisers are reviewing Merck’s closely watched COVID-19 pill, which could become the first easy-to-use drug for American patients. The Food and Drug Administration asked its outside experts Tuesday whether the agency should authorize the pill. They are weighing new data that the pill is less effective than the company first reported. Another question is whether pregnant women or women of child-bearing age should avoid the drug. Merck scientists say they believe their drug will be effective against the new omicron variant. The FDA panel will make recommendations, but agency staff get the final say.