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Singapore approves Pfizer's oral med Paxlovid for COVID treatment

Paxlovid is the first oral tablet in the country approved for the treatment of COVID-19.

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has given interim authorisation for Pfizer's Paxlovid under the Pandemic Special Access Route (PSAR) on 31 January.

"This is the first oral tablet approved in Singapore for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adult patients who are at high risk of progression to severe disease, to reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death," said HSA. The pill should be taken twice a day for five days, with treatment initiated as soon as possible after a diagnosis within five days of the onset of COVID-19 symptoms.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) told Channel News Asia the purchase agreement had been signed with Pfizer Singapore, and they are working with Pfizer to release the first batch this month.

Paxlovid was found to reduce the risk of COVID-19 related hospitalisation or death by 88.9% when given within three days of the onset of symptoms, according to HSA's review of the available clinical data based on rolling submissions of the results from an ongoing Phase II/III study.

MOH said it would continue to monitor the development of COVID-19 therapeutics and purchase promising candidates to ensure Singapore has access to safe and effective COVID-19 treatments. 

Interim authorisation of vaccines, medicines and medical devices under the PSAR can be terminated by HSA at any time, such as when new data suggests that their benefits no longer outweigh their risks.

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