By Colin Kellaher

 

Pfizer Inc. on Tuesday said the U.S. government agreed to buy another 10 million treatment courses of the company's Paxlovid Covid-19 pill, bringing the total amount of treatment courses to 20 million.

The New York drugmaker said it expects to deliver about 10 million courses by the end of June, with the remaining 10 million slated to follow by the end of September.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration late last month approved Paxlovid as the first drug that newly infected Covid-19 patients can take at home to try to ward off serious illness.

The authorization lets doctors prescribe the pill to high-risk patients age 12 and older early in the course of disease, shortly after they develop symptoms.

The FDA has also approved the use of a Covid-19 pill from Merck & Co. and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP, but the agency has recommended using the Merck drug only if other authorized drugs aren't available and medically appropriate, and the drug was less effective in testing than Pfizer's antiviral pill.

 

-Jared S. Hopkins contributed to this article

 

Write to Colin Kellaher at colin.kellaher@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 04, 2022 12:14 ET (17:14 GMT)

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