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S. Korea begins review of Pfizer's oral COVID-19 pill

Syringe and vial are seen in front of displayed Pfizer logo (Reuters-Yonhap)
Syringe and vial are seen in front of displayed Pfizer logo (Reuters-Yonhap)
South Korea's drug safety agency said Wednesday that it has begun reviewing an emergency authorization of US drug giant Pfizer Inc.'s oral drug to treat COVID-19.

Paxlovid is the antiviral pill for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients at increased risk of hospitalization or death, according to Pfizer and the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

If authorized, Paxlovid would be the first oral antiviral of its kind in South Korea.

The drug candidate is a protease inhibitor antiviral therapy that is specifically designed to be administered orally so that it can be prescribed at the first sign of infection or at first awareness of an exposure.

The US Food and Drug Administration is poised to grant an Emergency Use Authorization approval of Paxlovid along with Merck & Co.'s pill this week, according to multiple media reports.

Pfizer said its trial results showed Paxlovid reduces by 89 percent the risk of hospitalization or death in patients at high risk of severe illness within three days of the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. (Yonhap)

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