Pfizer's antiviral pill has shown promising results that could reinforce treatments available in the fight against the coronavirus for those most at risk.
A solution for developing countries
This new treatment could be a game changer for poorer countries that have fewer resources available to them at the moment. As many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America have only a fraction of the access to vaccines as their western counterparts, Pfizer's pill could be the answer to alleviating much of the pressure on their medical system.
In order to conduct the study, 775 unvaccinated people with underlying health conditions diagnosed with mild to moderate forms of the virus were given the pill to analyse results.
Upon taking three pills twice daily at the onset of symptoms, researchers found that only 0.8% of participants required hospitalisation. Within 28 days following the five day treatment, no patient had died.
Those who were given the placebo, on the other hand, saw the hospitalisation rate go up to seven per cent with seven people having died by the end of the treatment period. A spokesperson for the pharmaceutical company said:
[The trial] suggest that our oral antiviral candidate, if approved by regulatory authorities, has the potential to save patients’ lives, reduce the severity of Covid-19 infections, and eliminate up to nine out of 10 hospitalisations.
COVID pills for the UK
The news comes following the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's approval of the first ever COVID pill to be mass distributed by American pharmaceutical company, Merck's. Britain has now ordered 250,000 courses of the Pfizer pill but will first need to be approved by the UK's medicines regulator before it is introduced to the public.