FDA gives emergency authorization to Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill

FDA gives emergency authorization to Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill

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COVID-19 patients as young as 12 can now be treated with Paxlovid, an antiviral pill developed by Pfizer, after the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization on Wednesday. 

“Today’s authorization introduces the first treatment for COVID-19 that is in the form of a pill that is taken orally—a major step forward in the fight against this global pandemic,” said Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “This authorization provides a new tool to combat COVID-19 at a crucial time in the pandemic as new variants emerge and promises to make antiviral treatment more accessible to patients who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19.” 

In early November, Pfizer published trial results for the new oral medication, saying that it reduced hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 by 89 percent. Although the results had not undergone peer-review, Paxlovid’s strong effectiveness moved an independent data-monitoring committee to recommend ending the trial early.

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