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Friday, December 9, 2022

Pfizer’s Covid Pill is effective, according to the company’s final analysis

According to a press release issued on Tuesday, Pfizer’s Covid tablet was proven to be effective in preventing severe sickness in a pivotal clinical study and is expected to be effective against the highly modified Omicron version of the virus. Those findings highlight the potential of the treatment, on which health authorities and physicians are banking to reduce the strain on hospitals as the United States prepares for a possible fourth wave of the epidemic, which is expected to arrive soon.

Patients might begin getting the medication by the end of the year if the Food and Medicine Administration approves the drug, which could happen within days. Despite the fact that the tablets will only be available for a short time at initially, public health experts are optimistic that they will be able to prevent the worst consequences of the illness, regardless of the variety.

When administered to unvaccinated persons at high risk of severe Covid within five days of the beginning of symptoms, Pfizer’s antiviral tablet was proven to minimise the likelihood of hospitalisation and mortality by 88 percent, according to the pharmaceutical company. It further said that laboratory research revealed that the medicine would target a crucial protein in the Omicron form, which is gaining popularity in South Africa and Europe and is projected to overtake other variants in the United States over the next few weeks.

Some states in the United States are already seeing record hospitalizations as a result of the Delta variant spread, which is mostly affecting the unvaccinated. Researchers are concerned that Omicron may spread considerably more quickly than previously thought, and that it seems to be able to circumvent some of the immunological responses offered by vaccinations or past infection.

According to a study published on Tuesday, South African researchers discovered that two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine give much less protection against infection with Omicron than against other versions of the virus.

Despite the fact that the vaccines continue to give excellent protection against severe sickness and hospitalisation, it is probable that Omicron’s high rate of transmissibility may result in an increase in severe infections, especially among those who have not been vaccinated. In the next months, hospitals may be overwhelmed by the number of very sick individuals. Dr. Cherry believes that a very potent antiviral tablet such as Pfizer’s might be critical in reducing the outbreak.

According to Pfizer’s final analysis, 0.7 percent of patients who took Paxlovid were admitted to the hospital within 28 days of enrolling in the study, and none died as a result of their treatment. In comparison, 6.5 percent of patients who got a placebo were admitted to the hospital or died as a result of their condition.

Pfizer also reported early results from a second experiment that looked at patients who were at a reduced risk of developing cancer. There were vaccinated persons who had a risk factor for severe illness among them, as well as unvaccinated patients who did not have any risk factors for severe disease.

Several public health experts said they believed it was unlikely that the Food and Drug Administration would approve Paxlovid for patients who were at standard risk of being extremely sick from Covid based on the early findings, but they noted that the agency may do so at a later date.

As a result, Dr. Lakdawala believes that if the advantages of the medicine exceed any possible hazards, authorities may consider increasing its usage. It is possible that paxlovid may decrease how long individuals are exposed to the coronavirus, which might lessen the length of time they have to spend in quarantine as a result of their exposure. It may even lessen the likelihood that infected individuals may spread the virus to other people.

Pfizer’s chief scientific officer, Mikael Dolsten, was ecstatic with the findings after having supervised the development of the medicine since the spring of 2020, during which more than 200 corporate scientists worked to create the chemical and then test it in animals and humans.

Pfizer hopes to gain a substantial sum of money from the sale of Paxlovid. Global sales for the medicine, according to the investment firm SVB Leerink, is expected to reach $24 billion in 2022 and $33 billion in 2023, respectively. Paxlovid would have one of the biggest single-year sales of any medical medication in history if this were to happen.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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