COVID-19 Pills Drastically Reduce Hospitalizations and Deaths
In SummaryA pill for COVID-19 has been sent to the Food Drug Administration for authorization.
More medical aid to combat the COVID-19 virus is on the way in the form of pills developed by Pfizer.
The Pfizer pills drastically reduce hospitalizations and COVID-19 by 89% if a person consumes the drugs within three days of developing symptoms, according to results released Friday by Pfizer.
According to the study, the pharmaceutical company had 1,200 COVID-19 patients with a higher chance of developing severe illness take the pills. People who took the pills were far less likely to end up hospitalized than those who received placebo pills.
None of the people who received the Pfizer red pills died, but the 10 people who received placebo pills did die, according to results summarized in a Pfizer press release.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the pills could “eliminate up to nine out of ten hospitalizations.”
While the results are encouraging, experts said they are also preliminary. However, the company said the pills are safe, effective and easy to administer.
“Having an oral therapy is critically important,” said Dr. Carlos Del Rio, the executive associate dean and a global health expert at the Emory School of Medicine.
However, experts stress the pills are not a replacement for the vaccine. The actual vaccination shot is still the most effective way to reduce the risk of being hospitalized with COVID-19.
The FDA’s advisory committee is scheduled to review the application of Merck, another company developing COVID-19 pills, on Nov. 30. Merck’s CEO told CNBC the company is ready to distribute 10 million courses of treatment by the end of the year.
Pfizer plans to start sharing the data with the FDA as soon as possible.
“If we can get patients to start treatment early before they progress to severe illness and unfortunately, death, everyone wins in the fight against COVID,” said Dr. Simone Wildes, a board-certified infectious disease physician at South Shore Health.