JAKARTADAILY.ID - Reuters reported that Pfizer’s antiviral pill for adults at risk of severe COVID-19 illness was approved by the European Union recently on Thursday. The drug branded Paxlovid has already been receiving orders from Italy, Germany, and Belgium ranging from 200,000 to 1 million order courses.
Patients can take Paxlovid orally when they feel the onset of the COVID-19 symptoms. It is given as a two-drug antiviral regimen and is shown to also be effective against the Omicron variant. The drug's efficacy is around 90% in preventing hospitalizations and deaths in patients with a high risk.
Although the clinical trial was only tested on unvaccinated individuals, the European Medicines Agency allows its use on those who already received the vaccines.
One million courses of Paxlovid were ordered by Germany in December with an expected approval by the country’s drug regulator before the end of January. Italy’s order of 200,000 courses will arrive in February with the ability to order 400,000 more.
Pfizer aims to produce their drugs for all countries in the world. "We are proud to have a strong manufacturing footprint in Europe, which will help support the production of up to 120 million courses of Paxlovid globally," said Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla.
Merck has also made a similar drug Molnupiravir but its approval in the E.U. is delayed. The company said the drug was significantly less effective after revising its trial data in November last year.
The United States has already approved both Paxlovid and Molnupiravir back in December.