Pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced Friday that a major clinical trial has shown that the Paxlovid antiviral pill has not been shown to be effective in preventing coronavirus infection in people living with someone who has been exposed to the virus.
The trial involved 3,000 adults who had contact with a family member who had symptoms of Covid-19 and had previously been diagnosed positive for coronavirus. Some were given Paxlovid for 5 or 10 days and others a placebo.
Those who received the five-day treatment were found to be 32% less likely to become infected than those who received placebo. This percentage increased to 37% in those who received the ten-day treatment. However, the results are not considered statistically significant and therefore may have been random.
Pfizer reported that the safety data in the clinical trial were in line with previous studies, which had shown that the pills were 90% effective in preventing the treatment of patients with Covid-19 belonging to the so-called high-risk groups. if administered for five days shortly after the onset of symptoms.
“Although we are disappointed with the outcome of this study, these results do not affect the strong data on efficacy and safety we observed in our previous trial for the treatment of patients with Covid-19… and we are pleased to see the growing “Paxlovid is being used in these (vulnerable) populations worldwide,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Burla.
Pfizer notes that Paxlovid, which consists of two different antiviral drugs, is currently approved or licensed for conditional or emergency use in more than 60 countries for the treatment of patients with Covid-19 high risk groups.