Pfizer asks FDA to authorize its oral antiviral pill vs. COVID

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Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has applied for emergency authorization of its COVID-19 treatment pill to the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday.

Pfizer claims that its pill cuts down hospitalization and virus death by 89 percent if given with the usual HIV drug, CNBC reported.

The company’s treatment pill could support the development of the pandemic fight that was granted FDA approval. This, as high-risk individuals who contracted the disease do not need to go to the hospital for treatment but instead can stay at home and take the oral antiviral drug. In this manner, the already strained healthcare system can have lesser burden.

Pfizer’s antiviral pill, which is called Paxlovid, works as it hinders an enzyme’s activity that the virus needs to imitate. The said pill is taken along with a low dose of an HIV drug called the ritonavir for the person’s metabolism to slow down. In this way, the drug is being allowed to stay active in the patient’s body while maintaining higher concentration for a lengthened time period to fight the COVID-causing virus.

The pharmaceutical company said that the Paxlovid and ritonavir combination cut down hospitalization and death by 89 percent, citing the clinical trial it did involving participants aged 18 and over at a bigger risk of having serious COVID.

It also said that the safety of its treatment was already proven. People who participated in the trial, who took Paxlovid, reported lesser adverse effects than the placebo.

Pfizer’s oral antiviral pill will be given in two 150 mg tablets, combined with one 100 mg ritonavir tablet twice every day, if granted approval.

“We are moving as quickly as possible in our effort to get this potential treatment into the hands of patients, and we look forward to working with the U.S. FDA on its review of our application, along with other regulatory agencies around the world,” part of Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla’s statement on Tuesday said.