What do we know about the new oral medicine from Pfizer for Covid? Elizabeth Tracey reports

November 22, 2021

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Pfizer has asked the FDA to approve its new oral medication for Covid-19, called Paxlovid, for people in the early stages of infection. Brian Garibaldi, a critical care medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, reviews the data.

Garibaldi: From symptom onset to receipt of drug within about three days they had about 750 or so patients enrolled. This drug reduced hospitalization by almost 90%, three people who got the drug got hospitalized compared to 27 who got placebo. There were seven deaths in the placebo group and no deaths in the group that got the Pfizer drug. And then when they extended that population to look at people who got it within five days of symptoms they had similar benefits. If this pans out, having an oral treatment that can reduce hospitalizations and death would be an unbelievable addition to what we currently do for Covid outpatients.  :34

Such a medication would be a boon for low and middle income countries, where vaccines have been difficult or impossible to obtain. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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