U.s. Inks $5.3 Billion Agreement for Pfizer’s Antiviral Covid Pill

A deal has been signed by the U.S. government to buy 10 million courses of Pfizer’s antiviral Covid-19 pill, as announced by the company on Thursday, the latest in a series of purchases since officials procure limited supplies of new coronavirus treatments.

Essential Facts

The company claimed that nearly $5.3 billion will be spent by the U.S. on Pfizer’s drug, Paxlovid, provided that it gets approved for putting into use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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Pfizer stated that it will begin giving the course from next year and will finish the order in 2022. 

The experts believe in bringing a turning point in the pandemic soon because the deal includes an expanding U.S. stockpile of new therapies.

Pfizer’s Antiviral Covid Pill

Two deals with Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics have been signed by the U.S. to purchase 3.1 million courses of another antiviral pill, molnupiravir, which regulators are supposed to examine by the end of November. 

Along with that, the government has decided to purchase 700,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s injectable antibody cocktail, trials of which signifies that it is capable of reducing the possibility of death or critical illness due to Covid-19 and also provides protection against symptomatic infection.

Key Background

Oral antivirals may lead to turning the phase of the coronavirus pandemic, by emerging the virus into something that can be treated easily without the need of rushing into the hospital.

Pfizer claimed that Paxlovid which is a combination of a Covid-19 antiviral agent and ritonavir, an antiviral which is being utilized for the treatment of HIV, can reduce the possibilities of hospitalization or death from Covid-19 by nearly 89 percent if consumed as soon as the beginning of symptoms, whereas Merck stated that molnupiravir can reduce the risk by nearly 50 percent.

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Although none among both have got approval yet in the U.S., though in early November, the U.K. has approved the consumption of molnupiravir in an emergency, becoming the first country in the world to do so.

The main hindering factor and the reason behind signing the deals by both companies are to share the poll with nations having low income and boost production.

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