Pfizer’s new antiviral pill dramatically reduces the chances of getting seriously sick or dying from COVID-19 if it’s taken right after a patient first shows symptoms, the drug maker announced Friday morning. In what could be a major step forward the treatment of the disease—especially in vulnerable or immunocompromized people—Pfizer said its pill cut the risk of hospitalization or death by 89 percent when given within three days of the onset of COVID symptoms. In its statement, the drug maker said the antiviral pill will be sold under the brand name Paxlovid. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourlasaid: “Today’s news is a real game-changer in the global efforts to halt the devastation of this pandemic. These data suggest that our oral antiviral candidate, if approved or authorized by regulatory authorities, has the potential to save patients’ lives, reduce the severity of COVID-19 infections, and eliminate up to nine out of 10 hospitalizations.” The company said it will now submit its data as soon as possible to the Food and Drug Administration to seek authorization.
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