A milestone was marked this Wednesday, December 22 in the United States, as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved the first oral antiviral treatment against COVID-19: the pill Paxlovid from Pfizer Laboratory.
It is approved for use in high-risk adults and children 12 years of age and older who weigh at least 40 kilograms; the idea is to avoid any aggravation of symptoms that could lead to hospital treatment.
Albert Bourla, president and CEO of Pfizer, commented in a statement what are the benefits of Paxlovid.
“The Paxlovid authorization represents another tremendous example of how science will ultimately help us defeat this pandemic, which, even after two years, continues to disrupt and devastate lives around the world. This revolutionary treatment, which has been shown to significantly reduce hospitalizations and deaths, and can be taken at home, will change the way we manage COVID-19. And hopefully it will help reduce some of the significant pressures facing our healthcare and hospital systems, “he said.
Bourla further added that “Pfizer is ready to begin immediate distribution in the US to help get Paxlovid into the hands of the right patients as quickly as possible.”
Paxlovid began its Phase 1 trials in March 2021, combining a new antiviral drug called Nirmatrelvir and an older one, Ritonavir.
According to Pfizer in recent results, this treatment reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89 percent if administered to high-risk adults within days of their first symptoms. When given within the first five days of symptoms, the efficacy was similar: 88 percent.