Pfizer, U.S. ink $5.29B deal for COVID pill

Coronavirus
Pfizer COVID Pill

This image provided by Pfizer shows its COVID-19 pills. Drugmaker Pfizer said Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, it is submitting its experimental pill for U.S. authorization, setting the stage for a likely launch in coming weeks. (Pfizer via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. government will pay drugmaker Pfizer $5.29 billion for 10 million treatment courses of its potential COVID-19 treatment if regulators approve it.

Pfizer asked U.S. regulators on Tuesday to authorize the experimental pill, which has been shown to significantly cut the rate of hospitalizations and deaths among people with coronavirus infections.

Pfizer reported earlier this month that its pill cut hospitalizations and deaths by 89% among high-risk adults who had early symptoms of COVID-19.

The Food and Drug Administration is already reviewing a competing pill from Merck and will hold a public meeting on it later this month.

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