Pfizer has created another pill similar to Merck’s that shows it’s 89% effective when diminishing deaths and hospitalizations due to COVID-19.
The pill is an antiviral drug called paxlovid, and the clinical trials are being stopped because its proven to be overwhelmingly effective.
Now Pfizer is seeking emergency use authorization from the FDA.
Merck is seeking the same approval after studies showed the drug cut the risk of hospitalization in half. It was just approved for use in the United Kingdom last week.
The pill can be taken orally instead of intravenously, which is how monoclonal antibody treatments are given.
Experts urge people to understand that while the creation and use of this drug is a good thing, it cannot be used in place of vaccinations, mask wearing, or social distancing, which have proven to be the most effective.
The drug is used as a treatment measure for those who are unfortunate enough to catch COVID-19, but the overall goal is to not contract it at all.
Data still needs to be released on safety of the pills and symptoms experienced by patients who take them.
The pill series has a protease inhibitor which is taken by HIV patients for the virus, and is known to have some side effects like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea as well as other drug interactions.
The patients used in the study were high risk that had not yet been vaccinated. If approved, the population allowed to take the pills are likely going to be adults at high risk for death and hospitalization.
Related: Merck’s COVID-19 treatment pill has been approved in one country
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