Corona drug: EMA recommends Paxlovid from Pfizer

Status: 01/27/2022 5:48 p.m

The EU medicines agency has approved Pfizer’s anti-corona pill Paxlovid. The preparation is to be used primarily in high-risk patients to ward off severe disease progression. Germany has already ordered a million packs.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has given the green light for Pfizer’s anti-corona pill Paxlovid. The responsible EMA committee recommended conditional approval of the drug for use in adults with an increased risk of a severe course of Covid 19.

After approval, Paxlovid is the first drug that patients infected with corona can take orally at home. The Covid pill from the US manufacturer Pfizer is considered very effective.

Apparently also effective on Omicron

In a clinical study, the pill showed nearly 90 percent effectiveness in preventing hospitalization and death in high-risk patients. ‘Paxlovid’s safety profile was favorable and side effects were generally mild,’ the EMA experts stated.

Laboratory tests also indicated that the drug retained its effectiveness against the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Five days – twice a day – three tablets

According to the manufacturer Pfizer, patients take three tablets twice a day for five days. The active ingredient Nirmatrelvir is intended to inhibit a Sars-CoV-2 protein and thereby stop the virus from multiplying in the body’s cells.

Possible side effects include an impaired sense of taste, diarrhea, high blood pressure and muscle pain. The drug could also interfere with the effects of other medicines, the EMA warns.

EU: Other approvals

According to the EMA’s recommendation, the EU Commission still has to approve the approval, but this is considered a formality. EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides welcomed the drug agency’s recommendation. Paxlovid has the potential to make a real difference for patients at risk of severe disease.

With the approval of Paxlovid, six corona drugs for different stages of the disease are now approved in the EU, said Kyriakides. More would follow in the coming weeks.

Already pre-order from Germany

It is still unclear when the drug can be bought from the pharmacy on prescription. According to Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, one million packs of Paxlovid were ordered at the end of December. “The drug is particularly suitable for the treatment of unvaccinated high-risk patients,” he said.

The preparation had already received approval in the USA, Great Britain and Canada. The US government has already secured 20 million treatment units. More than five billion dollars were due for the first order of ten million units.

Anti-Covid pill: EMA recommends approval of Paxlovid

Stephan Ueberbach, ARD Brussels, 27.1.2022 6:07 p.m

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