Japan Approves Pfizer's Oral COVID-19 Drug

Society Lifestyle Politics

Tokyo, Feb. 10 (Jiji Press)--Japanese health minister Shigeyuki Goto gave approval on Thursday to an oral COVID-19 remedy developed by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc.

The fast-track approval of Paxlovid was issued after a subcommittee of the Pharmaceutical Affairs and Food Sanitation Council, an advisory panel to the health minister, supported the approval plan at a meeting the same day.

It is the second oral drug against the novel coronavirus to be approved in Japan, following Merck & Co.'s molnupiravir.

The Pfizer remedy is said to reduce risks of developing severe symptoms by 90 pct and be effective against the highly transmissible omicron variant.

The government hopes to make the drug widely available by the end of this month. It hopes to relieve the burden on the medical system by securing multiple widely available oral drugs.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press