Philippines in talks with Pfizer to procure COVID oral treatment: Duque

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 05 2022 01:10 PM | Updated as of Jan 05 2022 02:05 PM

Paxlovid, a Pfizer's coronavirus disease pill, is seen manufactured in Ascoli, Italy, in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters on November 16, 2021. Pfizer handout via Reuters/file
Paxlovid, a Pfizer's coronavirus disease pill, is seen manufactured in Ascoli, Italy, in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters on November 16, 2021. Pfizer handout via Reuters/file


MANILA - The Philippines is in talks with Pfizer to procure its oral antiviral treatment Paxlovid, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said Wednesday.

The Department of Health, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez, and Pfizer representatives met earlier Wednesday to discuss the procurement, according to Duque.

"Positibo naman ang kinalabasan ng kanilang pakikipag-ugnayan sa ambassador at sa Pfizer representatives kaning umaga," he said during a virtual public briefing.

(The meeting with the ambassador and Pfizer representatives earlier this morning was positive.)

"Pinag-usapan na ano ang pinakamabilis na paraan na maka-secure tayo ng treatment course ng Paxlovid."

(They discussed what's the fastest way so that we can secure treatment courses of Paxlovid.)

Paxlovid is a combination of two pills taken over five days that was shown in a clinical trial of 2,200 people to be safe and reduced the risk of hospitalizations and deaths among at-risk people by 88 percent when taken within 5 days of symptom onset.

The Food and Drug Administration earlier granted emergency use authorization to antiviral drug molnupiravir of Molnuzar.

--With a report from Agence France-Presse

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