The White House is purchasing an additional 10 million courses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 treatment pill Paxlovid, the company said Tuesday, bringing the total U.S. order to 20 million.
The news was first reported by Fox News, and it was later confirmed in a statement from Pfizer.
NEW: The Biden administration will double the U.S. government’s purchase of Pfizer’s Covid antiviral pill from 10 million to 20 million treatment courses, per a senior admin official
(Confirming @BrookeSingman report)
— Sabrina Siddiqui (@SabrinaSiddiqui) January 4, 2022
“With the Omicron variant surging, the availability of and accessibility to treatment options is of utmost importance, as millions of people are being diagnosed with COVID-19 each and every day,” said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer.
“With data showing significant reductions in hospitalizations and deaths, along with the potential for PAXLOVID to maintain robust antiviral activity against Omicron, we believe this therapy will be an important tool in the fight against COVID-19. We are pleased to be working with the U.S. government to help broaden patient access to this potentially game changing therapy.”
Pfizer also said Tuesday that the delivery of the first 10 million courses has been accelerated to June, with the following 10 million coming by September.
The New York Times reports that “only 35,000 of the additional courses would be delivered this month, and 50,000 more in February, to add to the 350,000 treatment courses that were already expected in the next two months, according to a senior administration official.”
LAST MONTH, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization for Paxlovid as an oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19.
In November, before they were formally approved, the Biden administration said it would commit to securing 10 million treatment courses once they passed the FDA’s screening process. The administration paid around $5.3 billion for the first 10 million courses.
Trials have shown that Paxlovid is highly effective, reducing the risk of hospitalization or death by 89 percent in high-risk patients.