Amid the raging spread of omicron, game-changing news emerged yesterday when the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization to Pfizer’s COVID-19 treatment pill, which can be prescribed by physicians and taken orally by patients, reports CNBC.
Who is it for? “The FDA cleared the pill for patients 12 and up with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are most likely to end up hospitalized or not survive. The agency said it should be prescribed as soon as possible after diagnosis and within five days of symptom onset.”
Availability: The medication could be available to patients as soon as this weekend. Pfizer has already shipped some of the pills throughout the U.S. while it awaited FDA authorization. The company also indicated yesterday that it’s “ready to start delivery in the U.S. immediately.”
How it works: “Pfizer’s treatment is administered in two 150 milligram tablets along with a 100-milligram tablet of an HIV drug, ritonavir, twice daily. The HIV drug helps slow the patient’s metabolism, which allows Paxlovid to remain active in the body at a higher concentration for a longer period.”
An expert’s point of emphasis: “Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an FDA advisor, said that the development is good news, but immunizing unvaccinated people remains the ultimate goal.” For resources to help do just that, continue to check in with the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute’s This Is Our Shot project.
Related: FDA authorizes Merck’s antiviral Covid pill this morning, reports Axios.