Pfizer, a US pharmaceutical company, announced on November 16, local time, that it had applied for emergency use approval for an oral treatment for COVID-19 with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The COVID-19 treatment, named ‘Paxrovid’, is an oral antiviral drug in the form of a pill, and its own clinical trials have shown that it reduces the probability of hospitalization and death by 89%.
The FDA is expected to make a positive decision by the end of the year on the application, the Wall Street Journal reported.
If Pfizer’s pill treatment is approved by the FDA, it will help health authorities respond significantly in the event of a re-spread of COVID-19 in the winter.
Even if the number of infected people increases, many of them can easily take the pills at home without going to the hospital.
“There is an urgent need for a life-saving treatment option,” said Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chief executive.
If Paxrovid is approved by the FDA, it will become the first oral antiviral drug used to treat COVID-19 in the United States, CNBC reported.
Previously, ‘Molnupiravir’, an oral treatment for COVID-19 developed by US pharmaceutical company Merck, was first approved for use in the UK on November 4th.
Governments around the world, including the U.S., are working hard to secure Pfizer’s oral treatment to combat COVID-19.
The Biden administration is expected to officially announce the purchase of 10 million Paxrovid treatments from Pfizer this week, the Washington Post reported, citing multiple sources.
Prior to filing for the FDA on the same day, Pfizer signed a license agreement with the UN-backed medical organization ‘Medicines Patent Pool’ to allow the manufacture of generic drugs for this treatment in 95 low- and middle-income countries.
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