Experimental Pfizer pill prevents Covid hospitalizations and deaths


An experimental antiviral pill developed by Pfizer reduced the risk of death and hospitalization by 89% in patients who were newly diagnosed with Covid-19 in a large study, the company said Friday.

The development of oral medicines that can be used to treat Covid early on could blunt the impact of the pandemic.

Nahid Bhadelia, the founding director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy & Research at Boston University, called oral antiviral pills “incredibly important” because existing treatments such as monoclonal antibodies must be given intravenously or as shots.

“With an oral antiviral, patients have more time and greater access to a treatment that will keep them out of the hospital,” Bhadelia said. “But the promise of oral antivirals will only be recognized if they’re available at your local pharmacy, and you can afford it, and you can get the test that tells you that you’re positive for Covid, so you can actually take advantage of this drug. So, the promise is there, but the rest of the pieces need to come together.”



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