New COVID-19 pill cut hospital, death risk by 90%

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File- This Dec. 4, 2017, photo shows the Pfizer company logo at the company’s headquarters in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Pfizer says its experimental pill for COVID-19 cut rates of hospitalization and death by nearly 90% among patients with mild-to-moderate infections. The company announced Friday it will soon ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and international regulators to authorize its pill, which is taken twice a day for five days.

A similar pill from competitor Merck is currently under FDA review and was cleared Thursday by U.K. regulators. Drugmakers around the world have been racing to develop an easy-to-use pill to blunt the effects of COVID-19. All therapies now authorized in the U.S. require an IV or injection.

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