Pfizer says COVID-19 antiviral pill 89% effective in high-risk cases
Updated: 2021-11-07 09:59:49 KST
Pfizer's under development COVID-19 treatment pill showed significant efficacy during its clinical trials with the company signaling it could be available for patients soon.
"I would say they are exciting and great news for humanity. And they were clearly not within the expectations. They were above expectations So, very exciting because there is a huge need, and this means that a lot of lives could be saved if this eventually makes it all the way to the end, the regulatory process. And a lot of people, instead of going to hospital, ending up to hospital, would stay home."
Named Paxlovid the pill is to be taken soon after symptoms arise.
Reports say the medication cut hospitalization and deaths by 89 percent during clinical trials.
The company says that it ended the trials early as the results were positive and will ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to authorize the drug's use this month.
That said, the pills could be available as early as this year.
U.S. President Joe Biden is already securing supplies.
"If authorized by the FDA, we may soon have pills and may treat the virus of those who become infected. We have already secured millions of doses, and the therapy would be another tool in our toolbox to protect people from the worst outcomes of COVID."
Experts are calling it a game-changer due to the potential reduction in hospitalization and deaths as well as for its simple method of use.
"It's also a big deal because these are pills that are easy to take. It's five days of taking pills twice a day. So this means people can have these pills ready to go in their medicine cabinets. And if they then discover that they're symptomatic with COVID and they test positive, they can start taking the pills right away. And not have to go into a hospital."
Paxlovid has been under development for nearly 2 years.
The CEO says that the company is in talks with 90 countries and will make sure it's widely available for everyone.
The news also comes as Merck and Co's treatment pill, which is known to cut hospitalization and deaths by half, was approved by the UK's medicines agency on Thursday making it the first treatment pill to be approved for use in the world.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News.