On Wednesday, the FDA approved the Pfizer COVID-19 pill, Paxlovid. This is the first antiviral coronavirus pill, which prevents hospitalization and death. “High-risk” individuals between the ages 12 and older, who are at least 88 pounds and test positive for SARS-CoV-2, are eligible for this prescribed treatment.
How Paxlovid Works for Patients
According to the FDA, treatment should begin as soon as possible after COVID-19 diagnosis or within five days of symptoms. Paxlovid combines a new antiviral drug named Nirmatrelvir and Ritonavir. The recommended dosage: three pills given twice a day for five days.
Last week, Pfizer released promising results. Treatment cut the chance of hospitalization or death by 89% if administered within a few days of the first symptoms. The percentage drops to 88% if given within the first five days of symptoms.
“Today’s authorization of PAXLOVID represents another tremendous example of how science will help us ultimately defeat this pandemic,” Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla stated. He further goes into detail about how treatment “will change the way we treat COVID-19.”
In November, the Biden administration announced its plans to purchase 10 million treatment courses for $5.295 billion. President Biden stated that Paxlovid would “mark a significant step forward in our path out of the pandemic.” In addition, he refers to the new pill as a “potentially powerful tool in our fight against the virus, including the Omicron variant.”
The FDA made clear in a statement that Paxlovid is not for the pre-or post-exposure prevention of Covid-19. Furthermore, it “is not a substitute for vaccination in individuals for whom COVID-19 vaccination and a booster dose are recommended.” With the recent spike of the Omicron variant, this news couldn’t have come at a more convenient time.