Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Sunday that the government is examining the new COVID pills developed by Pfizer and is considering buying them.
“There may be good news in the form of a pill for COVID,” Bennett said at the beginning of the Sunday weekly Cabinet meeting. “Already over the weekend I requested that my staff study the new pill thoroughly and examine the option of buying it for Israel,” he said.
“If the pill is certified for use it will be another significant tool in managing the virus, along with vaccines for everyone and entrance checks [of the Green Pass] for everyone, all the time,” he added.
Pfizers experimental antiviral pill to treat COVID-19 cut by 89% the chance of hospitalization or death for adults at risk of severe disease, the company said on Friday, as its CEO vowed to make this promising new weapon in the fight against the pandemic available globally as quickly as possible.
The trial’s results suggest that Pfizer‘s drug surpasses Merck & Co Inc’s pill, molnupiravir, which was shown to halve the chance of dying or being hospitalized for COVID-19 patients at high risk of serious illness.
Pfizer‘s pill, with the brand name Paxlovid, could secure U.S. regulatory approval by the end of the year. Pfizer said it plans to submit interim trial results to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before the end of Nov. The trial was stopped early due to its high success rate.
The Pfizer and Merck pills are eagerly anticipated, with only limited options currently available for treating people sick with COVID-19. Full trial data is not yet available from either company.
Pfizer is in active discussions with 90 countries over supply contracts for its pill, Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said in an interview.
“Our goal is that everyone in the world would be able to have it as quickly as possible,” Bourla said.