A new experimental Pfizer-manufactured pill will reportedly cut COVID-19 hospitalisation and death rates by almost 90%. It is hoped that, if approved, the pill, named PAXLOVID, will be taken by patients suffering from mild to moderate infections twice a day at home, helping to prevent deteriorating conditions. Also aiming to keep newly-infected people from going to hospital, the early trial followed 775 adults diagnosed with mild to moderate coronavirus, with at least one risk factor for the disease becoming more severe (such as elderly patients).
The preliminary study found that those taking the drug saw an 89% reduction in combined rate of hospitalisation or death after one month compared to those taking placebo. Out of those taking PAXLOVID, only 0.8% were hospitalised within three days of experiencing symptoms. There were no deaths 28 days after treatment. Pfizer’s chairman and CEO Albert Bourla described this is a game changer in the fight against the pandemic, as the company seeks to submit data to the US FDA for Emergency Use Authorisation soon.