Pfizer claims antiviral drug to be 89% effective in high-risk adults
Pfizer Inc. said Friday that its experimental antiviral pill for COVID-19 cut rates of hospitalisation and death by nearly 90% in high-risk adults, as the drugmaker joins the race to bring the first easy-to-use medication against the coronavirus to the U.S. market.
Pfizer says it stopped trials early as the initial results were so positive. The U.K. has already ordered 250,000 courses of the new Pfizer treatment, which has not yet been approved, along with another 480,000 courses of MSD’s Molnupiravir pill.
While a number of vaccines are available worldwide to prevent infection including one made by Pfizer, there are limited treatment options for people infected with COVID-19. Currently, COVID-19 patients who are not sick enough to be hospitalized but are at risk of serious illness can be treated with antibody drugs, though they have to be given intravenously at hospitals or infusion centers.