The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved on Thursday Pfizer's new COVID-19 antiviral medication, Paxlovid, to treat mild-to-severe coronavirus cases in adults.
Previously, Paxlovid had only an emergency authorization from the FDA. That meant doctors had limitations when prescribing it; that is still the case for children between ages 12 and 18.
Now, Pfizer can sell Paxlovid at market rates, and doctors have more freedom when prescribing it. It is the first pill to be approved for COVID-19 treatment.
“Today’s approval demonstrates that Paxlovid has met the agency’s rigorous standards for safety and effectiveness, and that it remains an important treatment option for people at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including those with prior immunity," said Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, director for the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in their press release.
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"The FDA remains committed to working with sponsors to facilitate the development of new prevention and treatment options for COVID-19,” she said.
While the drug can now be used treat ongoing COVID-19 cases for adults, it cannot be used to prevent exposure or to be used after infection.
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