Pfizer To Request Approval For Nearly 90% Effective COVID-19 Pill

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
Font Size:

Pfizer announced Friday that preliminary results from a study on its experimental oral antiviral pill ritonavir showed a nearly 90% reduction in hospitalization and death in high-risk adults with COVID-19.

The company said it will soon seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the pill. There are currently no oral antiviral treatments approved by the FDA to treat COVID-19.

Merck & Co. already has a COVID-19 pill under review by the FDA, and it was approved by health regulators in the U.K. Thursday. Merck’s pill, Molnupiravir, reduced the rate of hospitalization and death among unvaccinated COVID-19 patients with at least one high-risk factor by half in clinical trials.

In a study of 775 participants, patients who received the Pfizer pill saw an 89% reduction in instances of hospitalization or death over the course of one month compared to patients who receive a placebo. There were zero deaths and a hospitalization rate of under one percent in the Pfizer group, versus a hospitalization rate of seven percent and seven deaths in the control group. (RELATED: Coronavirus Is Fading As The Top Issue On Americans’ Minds)

The FDA is set to hold a public meeting on Merck’s offering later this month.