The U.K.’s drugs regulator on Friday approved the use of a second oral COVID-19 pill to be taken at home.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said Pfizer’s Paxlovid can be given to people aged 18 and older with mild to moderate symptoms and who are at risk of developing severe disease. This includes people with obesity, diabetes or heart disease, or those over 60.
In a clinical trial in this patient group, Paxlovid, which is a combination of two pills, reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89 percent compared with those given a placebo.
The pill, known as Paxlovid, has been approved after it was found to be “safe and effective” at reducing the risk of hospitalisation and death in people with mild to moderate COVID-19 infection.
Paxlovid has been approved after it was found to be “safe and effective” at reducing the risk of hospitalisation and death in people with mild to moderate COVID-19 infection. This follows a rigorous review of its safety, quality and effectiveness by the UK regulator and expert advice from the government’s independent scientific advisory body, the Commission on Human Medicines.
Developed by Pfizer, Paxlovid is an antiviral medicine with a combination of active ingredients, PF-07321332 and ritonavir.
The U.K.’s Antiviral Taskforce has signed a deal for 2.23 million treatment courses with Lagevrio and 2.75 million regimens of Paxlovid.
Pfizer stated that the Paxlovid tablets showed near 90 percent efficacy in preventing hospitalisations and deaths in high-risk patients.
Whereas previous antiviral treatments for COVID-19 had to be administered intravenously in hospital, the new antivirals are heralded as a “game-changer” in treating the disease.
This is because it can be administered at home.
With the proposition of constant boosters due to variant breakouts, vaccine scepticism is on the rise, however, Paxlovid tablets taken at home is seen as a game-changer the tablet method is seen as progress reducing the necessity of having an army of people to administer boosters, along with the logistics in bookings and accommodating vaccine areas.
Pfizer’s treatment consists of a combination of two pills- the antiviral nirmatrelvir and one tablet of ritonavir, which is taken over five days.
The two active substances of Paxlovid come as separate tablets that are packaged together and taken together, twice a day by mouth for five days.
Based on the clinical trial data, Paxlovid is most effective when taken during the early stages of infection.
The MHRA recommends its use as soon as possible and within five days of the start of symptoms.
It is too early to know whether the omicron variant has any impact on Paxlovid’s effectiveness but the MHRA is proactively working with the company to establish this.
In Europe, the European Medicines Agency provided guidance on the use of both Pfizer and MSD’s antivirals for use in an emergency.
Of course, share prices at Pfizer were up today.