We received good news today in our fight against COVID-19. The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization of the Pfizer antiviral pill, a promising new treatment option that will significantly reduce hospitalization and death as we battle the more transmissible Omicron variant.
With today’s action, we add the first-ever oral treatment to our nation’s medicine cabinet and take a significant step forward in our path out of the pandemic.
As soon as emerging science showed the promise of this antiviral, we acted quickly and aggressively to pre-purchase 10 million treatment courses – more than any other country in the world.
Recognizing that this pill takes time to make given the complex scientific process, production will ramp up in the months ahead. We will have over 250,000 treatment courses available to us in January and we will be working with states to ensure those are being distributed equitably and fairly and that our hardest-hit communities are reached.
Today’s action is a testament to the power of science and the result of American innovation and ingenuity. As Pfizer works to produce these treatments as quickly as possible, we will work closely with them and provide any resource needed, including using the Defense Production Act if warranted.
Even in the face of the more transmissible Omicron variant, America is more prepared than ever to fight this virus. We have widespread vaccination and boosters, testing, and now another effective treatment option that will help us save lives and further reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our country.