WASHINGTON: Pfizer said on Tuesday (Jan 4) the US government had agreed to buy additional 10 million courses of its COVID-19 oral therapy, bringing the total order by the government to 20 million courses.
The details of the expanded deal were not disclosed by the company. But for the first order of 10 million courses by the government in November, it had said it would pay Pfizer US$5.29 billion.
Pfizer's drug, Paxlovid, was authorised last month for people aged 12 and older. It has shown to be nearly 90 per cent effective in preventing hospitalisations and deaths in patients at high risk of severe illness, according to trial data.
About 10 million Paxlovid treatment courses have been accelerated for delivery by the end of June, with the remaining order to follow by the end of September, Pfizer said.
A rival antiviral pill from Merck & Co also won regulatory authorisation last month. The US government has a deal for as many as 5 million courses of the pill, molnupiravir, at a price of US$700 per course.