x
Breaking News
More () »

Pfizer, U.S. ink $5.29B deal over possible COVID-19 treatment

If the FDA authorizes the pill, the U.S. government will pay for 10 million treatment courses.

NEW YORK — The U.S. government will pay drugmaker Pfizer $5.29 billion for 10 million treatment courses of its potential COVID-19 treatment if regulators approve it.

Pfizer asked the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday to authorize the experimental pill, which has been shown to significantly cut the rate of hospitalizations and deaths among people with coronavirus infections.

RELATED: Time is running out to get kids fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Christmas

The FDA is already reviewing a competing pill from Merck and will hold a public meeting on it later this month.

The price for Pfizer’s potential treatment amounts to about $529 per course. The U.S. has already agreed to pay roughly $700 per course of Merck’s drug for about 3.1 million treatments.

RELATED: Preparing for a Thanksgiving gathering? Here's how to do so safely

Pfizer said Thursday the price being paid by the U.S. government reflects the high number of treatment courses purchased through 2022.

Pfizer reported earlier this month that its pill cut hospitalizations and deaths by 89% among high-risk adults who had early symptoms of COVID-19. The company studied its pill in people who were unvaccinated and faced the worst risks from the virus due to age or health problems, such as obesity.

RELATED: Here's how COVID vaccines for children are prepared