‘Paxlovid,’ the COVID-19 oral treatment developed by a global pharmaceutical company Pfizer, received emergency use authorization from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) on the 27th. It is expected to be used from the end of January next year as the first oral COVID-19 treatment in Korea.
The authorization was passed through the discussion by the ‘Medical Products Safety Management and Supply Committee for Responding to Public Health Crisis.’ The committee comprehensively evaluated the necessity of oral drugs, the safety and effectiveness test results provided by the MFDS, and the experts’ opinions.
The Minister of Food and Drug Safety Kim Gang-rip said in a briefing on the 27th, “We expect that Paxlovid will help diversify the types of treatments along with injection-type treatments currently used in hospitals, and will prevent patients from being severe.” Currently, ‘Regkirona,’ developed by Celltrion, is used for the injection-type treatment.
Paxlovid blocks the ‘3CL protease’ to prevent the production of protein needed to replicate the COVID-19 virus, inhibiting virus proliferation. Therefore, it has an antiviral effect.
Paxlovid will be prescribed to adults and children (12 years or older, weighing 40kg or more) COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms, especially those who are in a high-risk group due to old age or underlying diseases.