I was wondering when this was going to happen and it has as of now the Food and Drug Administration authorized the first antiviral pill to treat COVID-19 at home.

The pill, called Paxlovid, is made by Pfizer. It will have to be taken twice a day for five days in combination with a second medicine called ritonavir, a generic antiviral. Early results from another Paxlovid study showed a 70% reduction in hospitalization risk among several hundred people at lower risk for severe disease.

The Pfizer treatment could help keep people infected with the coronavirus from getting so sick that they need to be hospitalized.

Even though the federal government has an agreement with Pfizer to buy 10 million courses of treatment for $5.3 billion. The initial supplies of Paxlovid will be limited.

The FDA is also looking into a COVID-19 pill from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics that is also taken twice a day for five days.

Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research said.

"Today's authorization introduces the first treatment for COVID-19 that is in the form of a pill that is taken orally — a major step forward in the fight against this global pandemic, This authorization provides a new tool to combat COVID-19 at a crucial time in the pandemic as new variants emerge and promise to make antiviral treatment more accessible to patients who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19."

 

There's more of the Merck drug to go around. Merck says it will have 10 million packs available by the end of the month. The only thing about the Merck pill was that a study showed that only a 30% reduction in the risk of hospitalization or death. And FDA advisers raise a concern about the possibility the drug could cause birth defects.

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