This week, Pfizer published data from a new study suggesting its oral COVID treatment pill (nirmatrelvir, brand name Paxlovid) reduces the risk of severe disease by 89%, according to the company’s phase 2-3 trial.
Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) provisionally approved the pill for use in here in January, and the Australian Government has already secured access to 500,000 treatment courses of Paxlovid for supply in 2022.
A total of 2,246 patients were involved in the double-blind, randomised controlled trial, with 1,120 receiving the pill and 1,126 receiving a placebo.
There are all sorts of other medicines being used to treat COVID-19, including the injectible Remdesivir, the only antiviral drug approved to treat moderate-to-severe COVID in adults who aren’t on ventilation. But the promise of an oral COVID pill is its ease; it’s quick, simple, and can – at least physically – be administered by almost anyone. It could be a key frontline solution, especially for vulnerable people in remote areas or those who can’t be moved to larger hospitals.