Philippines in talks with Pfizer for procurement of antiviral COVID-19 pill | Inquirer News
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Philippines in talks with Pfizer for procurement of antiviral COVID-19 pill

/ 02:31 PM January 05, 2022
Philippines in talks with Pfizer for procurement of antiviral COVID-19 pill

FILE PHOTO: Paxlovid, a Pfizer’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pill, is seen manufactured in Ascoli, Italy, in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters on November 16, 2021. Pfizer/Handout via REUTERS

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government is currently in talks with US drugmaker Pfizer for the procurement of its antiviral COVID-19 pill, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Wednesday.

According to Duque, a team from the Department of Health (DOH) has already reached out to Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Romualdez and Pfizer representatives for the procurement of Paxlovid.

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“Pinagusapan na ano ang pinakamabilis na pamamaraan na maka-secure tayo ng [We are discussing the fastest way to immediately secure the] treatment course of Paxlovid,” the DOH chief said in a public briefing.

Duque said he has already directed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prod Pfizer to submit an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the use of Paxlovid once he signs a confidentiality agreement for the purchase of the pills.

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“We are proactive, I reassure you that we are doing everything. And I’ve already instructed FDA to make sure that after I’ve signed the confidentiality disclosure agreement they should already prod Pfizer to already apply for an EUA. We need to go through the process,” he said during a Go Negosyo forum.

Earlier, Duque noted that Paxlovid has a high efficacy rate compared to molnupiravir which was significantly less effective in cutting hospitalizations and deaths than previously reported.

The United States on December 22 authorized Paxlovid for at-risk people aged 12 and above. Pfizer, citing data from its clinical trials, said Paxlovid was nearly 90 percent effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths in patients at high risk of severe illness.

“There are other treatment options I believe where the report of effectiveness is relatively much higher, an example of which is Paxlovid,” Duque said.

“We continue to assess and evaluate the data because bago kasi lahat ito eh [this is all new], just as Omicron [variant] is new, there are also new treatment modalities or options that will need continuing assessment or evaluation because you also have to be mindful of the potential adverse effects or side effects of these untested drugs and medicines,” he added.

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TAGS: anti-viral pill, COVID-19, DoH, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Nation, News, Paxlovid, Pfizer
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