US Orders 10 Million Treatments of Pfizer’s Anti-COVID Pill

The US government ordered the Pfizer laboratory 10 million treatments of its anti-COVID-19 pill for $ 5.29 billion, subject to the green light of the health authorities, and President Joe Biden assured that they were will distribute for free.

The pharmaceutical company, which already markets a vaccine against the virus in collaboration with BioNTech, presented earlier this week to the US Agency for Medicines (FDA) an application for emergency authorization for this long-awaited treatment because it can be easily taken at home in the first days after the onset of symptoms in case of infection.

Even if the agency has not yet given the green light, “I have taken immediate steps to secure sufficient supplies for the American population,” the White House tenant said in a statement.

The government “is doing what is necessary to ensure that these treatments are easily accessible and free,” added Joe Biden, while stressing the importance of the vaccine.

The antiviral treatment, to be marketed as Paxlovid, has been shown to be 89% effective against hospitalizations and death in clinical trials, when taken within three days of the onset of symptoms.

These trials were conducted by the company on people at high risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19.

Antivirals work by decreasing the ability of a virus to replicate itself, which slows down the disease. They represent a key complement to vaccines to protect against COVID-19.

“Getting vaccinated remains the most important action we can take to protect ourselves and others and end this pandemic,” US Health Minister Xavier Becerra also said in a separate press release. “But for people who get sick and are at risk of serious consequences, having pills that they can take to avoid going to the hospital could be a lifesaver.”

Washington’s order requires delivery of the 10 million treatments, the first by the end of the year and in 2022.

“The price paid by the US government reflects the high volume of treatments purchased,” Pfizer says in its own press release, indicating that it has entered into discussions with other states.

The group is already benefiting enormously from sales of its COVID-19 vaccine, which allowed it to double its revenue in the third quarter to $ 24.1 billion, and multiply its net profit by five during the period, to $ 8, 15 billion.

The American laboratory Merck has also developed an antiviral treatment, molnupiravir, authorized in early November in a first country, the United Kingdom.

An FDA committee will meet on November 30 to decide on Merck’s drug authorization application in the US Washington has already purchased 3.1 million treatments from Merck.

Pfizer agreed on Tuesday to enter into a voluntary licensing agreement with the Medicines Patent Fund (MPP), created by Unitaid, that will allow generic manufacturers to produce the medicine for supply to 95 middle-income and lower-income countries, representing approximately 53% of the world’s population. population.

Merck made a similar pact with the MPP for its own oral anti-COVID-19.

On Wall Street, Pfizer shares rose 1.36% at 3pm (10am in Quebec).

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