Pfizer Says COVID Pill 90% Protective Against Hospitalisation, Deaths

The results announced by Pfizer are consistent with the result they announced earlier of 89 percent.

Pfizer Says COVID Pill 90% Protective Against Hospitalisation, Deaths

Pfizer BioNTech on Tuesday, 14 December, announced that their antiviral COVID pill has an efficacy of nearly 90 percent against severe illness, hospitalisation and death in 'high risk' patients.

The final data from the phase 2/3 trial announced by the company confirms the interim data they had released last month in November, which showed an efficacy of 89 percent.

Pfizer had also announced last month that they were seeking an EUA (Emergency Use Authorisation) from the US FDA for the antiviral pill.

According to the company, the recent lab data also shows that the antiviral treatment works against all current variants in circulation, including the Omicron variant.


What to Know About the Pfizer Pill

The Pfizer BioNTech antiviral pill named PAXLOVID, according to the company, is an 'investigational SARS-CoV-2 protease inhibitor antiviral therapy'.

The pill works similar to Merck's antiviral pill, essentially curbing the release of an enzyme required by the COVID-19 virus to replicate.

The pill is intended for those who have been exposed to the virus, and have tested positive with symptomatic illness, especially high risk people like cancer patients, and immunocompromised people.

The Phase 2/3 trial and what it found:

The study was conducted on analysis of 2,246 participants.

According to the final data of the trial, in high risk patients, if taken within 3 days of symptom onset, the pill gives an 89 percent protection against hospitalisation and death.

The efficacy, however, falls slightly to 88 percent if the pill is taken within 5 days of symptom onset.

The company also said that interim data from another ongoing study showed the pill provides 70 percent protection against hospitalisation and death in standard-risk patients.

"The data further support the efficacy of PAXLOVID in reducing hospitalization and death and show a substantial decrease in viral load. This underscores the treatment candidate’s potential to save the lives of patients around the world,”
Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer, in a statement

Because the pill is durable, easy to mass produce, transport and store, it can be a game changer in a populous country like India, as far as COVID-19 treatments are concerned.

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