New York — Clinical trial results suggest that an experimental pill to treat COVID developed by the US company Pfizer reduces hospitalization and death by 89% in vulnerable adults.
Paxlovid is intended for use soon after COVID symptoms develop in people at risk of severe disease. The Pfizer Antiviral drug, a protease inhibitor, is designed to block an enzyme the virus needs to multiply.
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Pfizer plans to submit interim trial results to US medicines regulator the FDA; as part of the emergency use application it started last month. Paxlovid (Pfizer Antiviral) can save patients’ lives, reduce the severity of Covid-19 infections, and eliminate nine out of 10 hospitalizations.
Interim data from treatment trials in 1,219 high-risk patients who had recently been infected with Covid; found that 0.8% of those given Paxlovid were hospitalized compared with 7% of patients given a placebo or dummy pill.
Seven patients given the placebo died compared to none in the group given the pill. When treated within five days of symptoms appearing, 1% given Paxlovid ended up in a hospital; and none died, compared to 6.7% hospitalization in the placebo group and ten deaths.
Pfizer is studying treatment impact on people at low risk of COVID illness and those exposed to the virus by someone in their household.