Pfizer on Tuesday mentioned prescriptions for its oral antiviral to deal with Covid-19 have elevated practically tenfold within the U.S. since late February, as extra pharmacies and different places obtain provide.
CEO Albert Bourla, in an earnings name Tuesday morning, mentioned practically 80,000 sufferers had been handled with Paxlovid within the U.S. the week ending April 22, up from about 8,000 sufferers in late February. More than 33,000 websites within the U.S. now have provide of Paxlovid, Bourla mentioned, a fourfold improve over February.
Shares of Pfizer had been up over 1% in Tuesday afternoon buying and selling.
Paxlovid provide was constrained when the antiviral first rolled out over the winter, however Pfizer is ramping up manufacturing with 6 million programs produced by way of the top of March, in line with Bourla. Pfizer is on observe to fabricate 30 million programs within the first half of 2022 and 120 million by the top of the yr, Bourla mentioned.
Pfizer on Tuesday reported $1.5 billion in Paxlovid gross sales for the primary quarter and maintained its steering of $22 billion in gross sales for 2022. Angela Hwang, Pfizer’s head of biopharmaceuticals, instructed analysts Tuesday that demand for the antiviral will improve as nations reorder doses and decrease the eligibility age.
Covid transmission will improve as governments ease public well being restrictions, and Paxlovid will play an vital position in treating individuals who get contaminated, Hwang mentioned. Pfizer would not have any stock available as a result of each dose manufactured will get shipped, she mentioned.
The U.S. has ordered a complete of 20 million Paxlovid programs, with the supply of the primary 10 million programs to be accomplished in June and success of the second 10 million scheduled for September, in line with the Biden administration. Patients within the U.S. had used greater than 500,000 Paxlovid programs as of late April, a senior administration official instructed reporters final month.
The White House is ramping up distribution of Paxlovid as a key element of its technique to combat Covid. The Health and Human Services Department goals to carry the antiviral to 40,000 places throughout the nation. The U.S. has arrange at the least 2,200 websites the place individuals can obtain Paxlovid as quickly as they take a look at constructive for the virus, together with pharmacies, neighborhood well being facilities and long-term care amenities.
The Food and Drug Administration approved Paxlovid in December for adults and youngsters ages 12 and older who’re contaminated with Covid and prone to extreme sickness from the virus. The FDA approved Merck’s molnupiravir shortly after, however mentioned it ought to solely be used for adults ages 18 and over who haven’t got entry to Paxlovid or different Covid therapies.
Paxlovid proved more practical and had a greater security profile than molnupiravir in scientific trials. Pfizer’s antiviral diminished the danger of hospitalization or demise by 90% in adults who had Covid and had been prone to growing extreme sickness. Molnupiravir diminished the danger of hospitalization and demise by 30% in scientific trials amongst Covid sufferers prone to extreme sickness.
Paxlovid now has a 90% market share in comparison with Merck’s molnupiravir within the U.S. retail pharmacy, long-term care and mail order markets, Bourla mentioned. The antiviral is now approved in additional than 60 international locations, and Pfizer is in discussions to carry the therapy to further markets, he mentioned.
Patients prescribed Paxlovid take a 3 pill course twice every day for 5 days. The course contains two nirmatrelvir capsules developed by Pfizer, and one pill of ritonavir, a extensively used HIV drug. Nirmatrelvir inhibits an enzyme the Covid virus makes use of to breed, and ritonavir slows the affected person’s metabolism so the treatment stays lively within the physique for an extended interval.
While Paxlovid is efficient at stopping hospitalization and demise in individuals who have already got Covid, it failed to stop an infection from the virus in scientific trial outcomes printed Friday.