Pfizer claims that its experimental antiviral pill to treat Covid-19 is 89% effective in reducing the risk of hospitalisation or death for vulnerable adults.
This comes after a month after pharmaceutical company Merck announced their pill to treat Covid-19.
The result from the tests also appear to surpass those seen with Merck & Co Inc’s pill, molnupiravir, by halving the likelihood of dying or being hospitalized for COVID-19 patients also at high risk of serious illness.
According to Pfizer, the trial for the drug stopped early due to its high success rate and they planned to submit the trial results to the American Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) before 25 November.
The CEO said they vowed to make this promising new weapon in the fight against the pandemic available globally as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, the Covid-19 pill, with the brand name Paxlovid isn’t as straightforward as taking a few pills daily. It is given in combination with an older antiviral drug called ritonavir, an antiretroviral medication used together with other medications to treat HIV/AIDS.
The treatment consists of 3 pills given twice daily.
Despite the medical breakthrough, it is said that vaccines are still the most effective and reliable tool to combat against the Covid-19 pandemic.
“These oral medications are going to augment our ability to really reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death, which is huge, but it won’t prevent infection.” said Dr. Grace Lee, professor of pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine.
However, the Health Ministry (KKM) had not given any statement on the purchase of these Paxlovid pills by Pfizer.
Previously, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin agreed to purchase 150,000 courses of Merck’s experimental antiviral pill Molnupiravir.