As COVID cases begin to surge in cities around the world, the FDA is taking steps to reduce hospital admissions for the virus. The Food and Drug Administration approved the very first pill to treat COVID-19 on Wednesday. According to CNN, Pfizer’s PAXLOVID pill can be used to treat coronavirus in people 12 years old and older, before they are sick enough to go to the hospital.
“Today’s approval of PAXLOVID is another great 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,” said Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer in an explanation.
“This breakthrough therapy, which has been shown to significantly reduce hospital stays and deaths and to be taken at home, will transform the way we treat COVID-19 and hopefully help alleviate some of the significant stresses our health and hospital systems are facing is to decrease. “
The pill is reportedly made up of a new antiviral drug called nirmatrelvir, as well as an older antiviral drug called ritonavir. Taken together, the drugs are reported to reduce the chance of hospitalization by 88% when taken within the first five days of symptoms.
In November, President Biden’s administration announced that the drug would “represent a significant step forward in our way out of the pandemic.” The government reportedly bought $ 5.295 billion in treatment courses for the pill.
“PAXLOVID is a potentially powerful tool in our fight against the virus, including the Omircon variant,” said Biden, emphasizing the importance of vaccination.
It is unclear whether the pills are currently sold over the counter or by prescription.
“Pfizer is ready to begin shipping immediately in the US to get PAXLOID into the parents’ hands as soon as possible,” said Bourla.
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