The noteworthy impact of science and big pharma could not be understated in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. With around a year since the pandemic’s inception, different vaccines have been made available to bolster human immunity. The vaccines have allowed several country leaders to relieve a number of restrictions, as humanity battles to regain its life back.
One key weapon in such a fight against a relatively new and dangerous disease would be medicine to not only build immunity but to fight the virus as one is infected. This can take the form of an oral drug. Such a drug would enable a quicker pace towards normality as people would be able to tend to COVID-19 on their own, by being prescribed the pills by their medical practitioners.
Pfizer, one of the producers of a COVID-19 vaccine is working on an experimental oral drug that can be consumed at the first sign of illness. The good news about this is that the company is working to have this available for the public by the end of the year, as announced by the CEO Albert Bourla.
The drug works by obstructing an enzyme that the virus needs to replicate within cells. This drug is referred to as a protease inhibitor, the same class being used to treat other viruses such as HIV and hepatitis C. The testing through clinical trials commenced in March.
The availability for the general public will heavily depend on the results of the clinical trials and the approval of the Food and Drug Administration. Expert opinions in this regard have been positive, stating that this drug could become a game changer as people would be able to take medication by themselves and outside of hospitals. The enhanced options of medicine will enable fewer hospitalisations and deaths.
Although the effectiveness of vaccines is undisputed as the global data continues to roll in, there are many around the world who are still unvaccinated and new variants are a constant threat. Case numbers are still higher than many would like, and countries are recording sickness of those who are fully vaccinated. As time progresses, many are realising that vaccines can be complemented with other medicines. Such a drug may also be of assistance to countries that have had limited access to vaccines.
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