US President Joe Biden on Thursday announced the United States is buying 10 million courses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 treatment pill in a $5.3 billion deal, AFP reports.
While the deal hinges on the treatment’s approval by the Food and Drug Administration, Biden said he had taken “immediate steps to secure enough supply for the American people.”
“Today, I’m announcing that we have purchased 10 million treatment courses of the Pfizer antiviral COVID-19 pill, with delivery starting at the end of this year and across 2022,” he said in a statement, adding that the treatments would be “easily accessible and free.”
While emphasizing that widely-available vaccines remain America’s “strongest tool” in the fight against COVID-19, Biden said the antiviral “treatment could prove to be another critical tool in our arsenal that will accelerate our path out of the pandemic.”
Two weeks ago, Pfizer announced the results from a clinical trial of its new coronavirus drug, called Paxlovid, which is aimed at preventing serious cases of the virus among high-risk groups – particularly those unable to receive the COVID vaccine.
According to a press release by Pfizer, the experimental pill demonstrated up to 89% effectiveness in curbing hospitalizations or death among high-risk patients.
The new antiviral pill was combined with low doses of an HIV drug called Ritonavir, producing an effect that Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla called a “game-changer”.
Following that announcement, Biden said the US had secured millions of doses of the experimental antiviral pill.
Pfizer applied this week for US emergency use authorization for Paxlovid.
Source: Arutz Sheva