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Reactions to Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill showing near 90% efficacy – Metro US

Reactions to Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill showing near 90% efficacy

Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill Paxlovid is manufactured and packaged
Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill Paxlovid is manufactured and packaged

(Reuters) – Pfizer Inc’s final analysis of data from the trial of its antiviral COVID-19 pill showed that it still had near 90% efficacy in preventing hospitalizations and deaths in high-risk patients.

Recent lab data also suggested the drug retains its effectiveness against the fast spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Following are the reactions from public health experts:

ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES

“The good news about that is that the data showed about an 89% protection from hospitalization or death within the first few days of symptoms, now that the complete final data set is just as good, if not better.”

“So that’s really good news. It’s holding up under larger numbers of people. So they’re going to be submitting that to the FDA and hopefully we’ll get some action on that soon.”

ANDREW PEKOSZ, PROFESSOR OF MICROBIOLOGY AT JOHNS HOPKINS BLOOMBERG SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH

“I’m hopeful that the antivirals will be more widely distributed than the vaccines have been. But it certainly is an issue because at the end of the day, countries that do have money will preorder doses like the U.S. did, and that will put a strain on global distribution, particularly in countries that don’t have the funds to compete with countries like the US.”

SEAN LIU, ASSISTANT PROF. OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF COVID TRIALS UNIT, ICAHN SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AT MOUNT SINAI

“An effective, oral, SARS-CoV2-3CL protease inhibitor may be a great addition to combat the COVID-19 pandemic especially given the ongoing risks of Spike protein variants that may become resistant to monoclonal antibody therapies or vaccine-induced immunity.”

RAJESH GANDHI, INFECTIOUS DISEASES PHYSICIAN AT MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL AND PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE AT HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL

“Monoclonal antibodies have to be injected and, therefore, an oral pill is certainly much easier to take. If production can be ramped up, and if the final results continue to show this promising result, I think it really could transform how we manage people who are at high risk, mild to moderate COVID-19, but not yet sick enough to be in the hospital.”

SOUMYA SWAMINATHAN, CHIEF SCIENTIST, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

“Results are encouraging but would be good to roll out with more data collection and pharmacovigilance. Emergence of drug resistance is a concern as with any monotherapy for viral disease.”

“Pfizer has signed with MPP to provide to about 95 countries through licenses to generic manufacturers. It may take a few months but these companies should be able to scale.”

ANDREW BADLEY, CHAIR OF COVID-19 TASK FORCE AT MAYO CLINIC

“If the Pfizer pill is as good as we believe it’s going to be, I certainly hope that there would be availability of this throughout the world because I think it has the potential to make a big difference.”

PETER MAYBARDUK, DIRECTOR – ACCESS TO MEDICINES & KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY GROUP, PUBLIC CITIZEN

“It certainly argues for the need to step up production and for policymakers to have a more forward looking plan on therapeutics availability than we did globally on vaccines. Some are proposing that treatments might be the pandemic end game, so we have to take it pretty seriously.”

(Reporting by Leroy Leo and Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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