Pfizer announced that the pill they designed experimentally to fight COVID-19 has proven to reduce the risk of deaths and hospitalizations
Pfizer Said Their Pill Has The Potential To Reduce The Risk Of Deaths
They are hoping that combining it with ritonavir, an older antiviral drug, will make a difference. People can take this pill during the early phases of coronavirus infection which would prevent them from getting hospitalized.
An analysis was done before their research came to an end. Pfizer said that this showed them that their pill reduced the risk of death and hospitalizations caused by COVID-19 by 89% if people take it soon enough.
The results came back so promising that the company stopped their trials and is preparing their submission to the Food and Drug Administration to win its emergency use approval.
Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer said that this news is a game-changer in the efforts put on by all the countries around the world to battle the pandemic.
In a news release, the company disclosed their results. The data has not been published or peer-reviewed. Pfizer said they will share more details in a reviewed paper when they submit it to the Food and Drug Administration.
Bourla said on Friday that they are planning to submit their data as soon as possible, adding the possibility of doing it before Thanksgiving. Pfizer is testing this pill on adults who have contracted COVID-19 and are at high risk. The participants have been randomly administered a placebo or this pill within the starting days of their infection.
The pill is known as Paxlovid, or PF-07321332, which is its experimental name. It is designed to prevent the virus from multiplying. The company said that administering it along with ritonavir has proven to stop it from multiplying within the body.
The company said that 0.8% of patients who received this drug combination in the first three days were admitted to the hospital within four weeks. Around seven patients who received a placebo died. Patients who received the treatment did not die.
The company said that the same level of reduction in hospitalizations and deaths caused by COVID-19 were seen in subjects who were given this pill within five days of their symptoms. Talking to CNN, Bourla said that out of 10 people who would have gone to the hospital, only one will need to be hospitalized.
The company also said that 19% of people who were given this pill experienced adverse impacts but they did not disclose what these impacts were.
Bourla quotes this as a great day for humanity. He noted that this came somewhat nearly after one year of the company announcing the results of the COVID-19 vaccine. The company disclosed data on the vaccines on 9 November 2020.
He said that the pill can save millions of lives but he still emphasizes that vaccinations are more important. He added that vaccines are not completely effective and everyone may not get them which can ultimately crowd hospitals in ICU beds.
He said they needed a solution for this scenario and this pill fits here exactly. This is a treatment for people who unfortunately contracted the infection.
At present, the only pill authorized by the FDA for treating COVID-19 is remdesivir sold under the company name of Veklury.
Coronavirus patients can also be treated with monoclonal antibodies which are infusion or injection therapies that help the immune system to fight the infection. Taking it is not easy and people require a professional.
But studies have added to mounting evidence that monoclonal antibody treatments help patients recover from COVID-19 and also prevents hospitalizations and deaths.