“Belgium should gradually throw it away from the end of February,” Walloon Minister of Health Christie Morreale posted on Twitter. This “new drug will enter the arsenal of weapons that we can have to prevent severe forms of Covid disease in patients at risk”, explained the Walloon minister.
“The EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended the granting of a conditional marketing authorization for the orally taken antiviral medicine Paxlovid,” the European regulator said in a statement.
The EMA recommended “authorizing Paxlovid for the treatment of Covid-19 in adults who do not require supplemental oxygen and who are at increased risk of the disease becoming serious”.
Antivirals affected by decreasing the ability of a virus to replicate, thus curbing the disease. They are eagerly awaited because they are easy to administer, and can simply be taken at home with a glass of water.
Pfizer said in December that its anti-Covid pill reduced hospitalizations and deaths in those at risk by nearly 90% when taken within the first few days after symptoms appeared.
The EMA assessed data from a study involving patients with Covid-19 showing that “Paxlovid treatment significantly reduced hospitalizations or deaths in patients who had at least one underlying condition exposing them to a risk of severe Covid-19”.
The majority of patients in the study were infected with the Delta variant, the EMA said, while consistent that according to laboratory tests, Paxlovid should remain effective against Omicron.
The Pfizer pill is a combination of a new molecule, PF-07321332, and ritonavir, an HIV antiviral, which is taken as separate tablets.
“The EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use has concluded that the drug’s benefits outweigh its risks for the approved use” and will “now send its recommendations to the European Commission for a rapid decision applicable in all states members of the EU”.
This approval procedure by the Commission generally takes a few hours or a few days.
“With the authorization of Paxlovid this week, 6 anti-Covid drugs have been authorized as part of the EU therapeutics strategy”, published in a press release the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides. .
The United States, Canada and Israel are among a handful of countries that have already given the green light to the Pfizer treatment.