Pfizer has performed tests using a pill that can be used in infections with Covid-19 and the results are very promising. Paxlovid, as the pill is called, reduced the risk of dying or needing hospital care by 89 percent among patients who had just caught Covid-19.
Pfizer now hopes that the U.S FDA can approve Paxlovid maybe within just a couple of weeks. It would then give us two effective drugs in pill form against Covid 19 as Merck has just presented its pill against Covid 19.
"If someone developed symptoms and tested positive we could call in a prescription to the local pharmacy as we do for many, many infectious diseases", says John Mellors who researches infectious diseases at the University of Pittsburgh, in a comment to Medicalxpress.
Pfizer has tested 775 adults who showed the first symptoms of Covid-19. One group received Paxlovid and another group received a placebo pill. Of those who received Paxlovid, only one percent needed hospital care and none of them died. In the control group, seven percent ended up in hospital and ten people died of Covid-19.
The patients in the study were unvaccinated and at risk. They could be overweight, have diabetes, or have heart defects. The study showed that the faster patients received Paxlovid, the greater the chance was that they would not become seriously ill. Getting diagnosed quickly is therefore important.
The study would have continued, but a group of independent medical experts overseeing the study discontinued it prematurely. They considered the results to be so good that it was unethical not to get the treatment out to the public as soon as possible.