Yale doctor on Pfizer COVID-19 pill reported to be almost 90% effective


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WNTH) — A second pill to treat COVID-19 could soon be on the way. Pfizer says its COVID-19 treatment pill is almost 90% effective in cutting COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. Merck’s covid pill, which is 50% effective at those same measures was approved for use Thursday in the UK.

Doctors say having medications like these pills could change the future of the pandemic.

“Right now, we do not have an effective oral medication that we can use to treat patients who are well enough to remain at home,” Yale Medicine’s Dr. Richard Martinello said.

In the Pfizer study, participants were unvaccinated, with mild-to-moderate COVID-19, and were considered high risk for hospitalization due to health problems like obesity, diabetes, or heart disease.

Treatment began within three to five days of initial symptoms and lasted for five days. Patients who received the Pfizer pill earlier showed slightly better results, underscoring the need for speedy testing and treatment.

“We’re talking about hopefully soon in ’21 that this medicine can be available,” Pfizer’s Dr. Mikael Dolsten said. “And then, of course, on the larger reach next year.”

Once Pfizer submits its FDA application the agency could make a decision within weeks or months.

“I was really delighted to hear about it this pill has been worked on for a number of years now and actually it’s in a class of medications that we’ve used against other viruses before,” Dolsten said. “I think this is one of the biggest medical advances for a single drug in virology in a long, long time.

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