Pfizer COVID-19 pill reduces risk of hospitalization, death by 89 percent, study shows

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Pfizer announced Tuesday that a study found that its oral, antiviral COVID-19 pill Paxlovid reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89 percent in high-risk patients.

Pfizer said that the 2,246 patients in the study were given the pill within three days of symptom onset, adding that they had mild to moderate symptoms as well as an underlying medical condition or an increased risk of becoming severely infected by COVID-19. 

The company said the results have been shared with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a part of the company’s request for emergency use authorization. Pfizer requested emergency use authorization from the FDA for Paxlovid in mid-November.

A previous study done by Pfizer testing 389 people with Paxlovid in early November yielded similar results, finding the pill 89 percent effective.

Pfizer noted in its statement on Tuesday that Paxlovid, unlike its COVID-19 vaccine, does not work by targeting the spike protein but by inhibiting viral replication.

The pharmaceutical giant added that it believes that the pill will work on the new omicron variant, but additional studies are underway. 

“This news provides further corroboration that our oral antiviral candidate, if authorized or approved, could have a meaningful impact on the lives of many,” said Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Emerging variants of concern, like Omicron, have exacerbated the need for accessible treatment options for those who contract the virus, and we are confident that, if authorized or approved, this potential treatment could be a critical tool to help quell the pandemic.”

Tags covid-19 antiviral pill COVID-19 drug development emergency use authorization FDA Food and Drug Administration Pfizer Pfizer

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