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EU regulator recommends Paxlovid COVID-19 pill for at-risk adults

EU regulator recommends Paxlovid COVID-19 pill for at-risk adults
The European Medicines Agency on Thursday recommended Pfizer's Paxlovid antiviral COVID-19 pill for treatment in adults who do not require supplemental oxygen and who are at increased risk of severe disease. File Photo by pio3/Shutterstock

Jan. 27 (UPI) -- The European Union's drugs regulator on Thursday backed Pfizer's antiviral pill to treat COVID-19.

The European Medicines Agency issued a statement recommending granting a conditional marketing authorization for Pfizer's Paxlovid pill to treat COVID-19 in adults who do not require supplemental oxygen and who are at increased risk of severe disease.

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"The European Commission will now fast-track the decision-making process to grant a decision on the conditional marketing authorization for Paxlovid, allowing this medicine to be marketed across the EU," the regulator said.

In December, the agency ruled that the treatment could be used by adults in advance of formal approval.

The EMA is also reviewing molnupiravir, an anti-viral pill produced by Merck.

Pfizer said in November that Paxlovid, which works by binding an enzyme to prevent the virus from replicating, cuts severe illness and death attributed to the coronavirus by 89% when combined with a low dose of ritonavir and taken within five days of the onset of symptoms.

The United States has committed to purchase 10 million courses of Paxlovid and in December, granted emergency use authorization for the pill.

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Canada has also approved the pill for use by adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms who are at risk of serious disease that may result in hospitalization or death.

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