WASHINGTON (AP) — Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill Paxlovid won another vote of confidence from U.S. health advisers Thursday, clearing the way for its full regulatory approval by the Food and Drug Administration.
The medication has been used by millions of Americans since the FDA granted it emergency use authorization in late 2021. The agency has the final say on giving Pfizer’s drug full approval and is expected to decide by May.
A panel of outside experts voted 16-1 that Paxlovid remains a safe and effective treatment for high-risk adults with COVID-19 who are more likely to face hospitalization and death due to the virus.
“We still have many groups that stand to benefit from Paxlovid, including unvaccinated persons, under-vaccinated persons, the elderly and the immuno-compromised,” said Dr. Richard Murphy of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The panel’s positive vote was widely expected, given that Paxlovid has been the go-to treatment against COVID-19, especially since an entire group of antibody drugs has been sidelined as the virus mutated.