The Food and Drug Administration of the United States of America on Wednesday granted approval for Pfizer’s oral pill for treatment in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.
The medication, which is recommended for people at a high risk of developing severe Covid-19, could be available to patients as early as this weekend.
Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEO earlier this month noted that the company has already shipped some of the pills to the U.S. so they can be prescribed as soon as the FDA authorization comes through.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to quickly follow suit with its seal of approval, authorizing its distribution.
The FDA cleared the pill for patients 12 and above with mild to moderate Covid-19 who are most likely to end up hospitalized or not survive.
“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,” Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.
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“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.”
The company reiterated Wednesday that it’s ready to start delivery in the U.S. immediately.
Pfizer’s pill is the first oral antiviral drug authorized by the FDA that is specifically designed to fight Covid-19.
While the FDA said vaccines are the first line of defense against Covid, the drug provides a new tool in its fight against the virus.
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