Pfizer said that the U.S. government has committed to purchasing an additional 10 million treatment courses of the company’s COVID-19 oral therapy, Paxlovid, to be delivered by the end of June 2022.
This commitment will supplement the 10 million treatment courses previously contracted by the U.S., bringing the total amount of treatment courses to 20 million. Collectively, approximately 10 million Paxlovid treatment courses have been accelerated for delivery by the end of June, with the remaining 10 million to follow by the end of September.
Paxlovid consists of nirmatrelvir, which inhibits a SARS-CoV-2 protein to stop the virus from replicating, and ritonavir, which slows down nirmatrelvir’s breakdown to help it remain in the body for a longer period at higher concentrations. The drug cocktail is administered as three tablets (two tablets of nirmatrelvir and one tablet of ritonavir) taken together orally twice daily for five days, for a total of 30 tablets.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently authorized the emergency use of Paxlovid for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older weighing at least 88 pounds) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death.