While vaccinations are currently underway in most parts of the world and the COVID-19 doesn't seem to be ending any time soon, oral COVID-19 drugs developed by Pfizer is expected to enter its Phase 3 clinical trial, with many hospitals in Taiwan taking part.
Merck and Pfizer are both developing oral COVID-19 drugs. Pfizer is currently conducting a Phase 3 clinical trial for its "PF-07321332," with a number of domestic hospitals reportedly taking part.
Chen Shih-chung, Health and Welfare Minister："No, I have not started (clinical trials). We are still trying to find out more and we want them to give us a report."
According to reports, PF-07321332 is used in conjunction with HIV/AIDS medication Ritonavir. The clinical trial will involve 2,660 subjects around the world, including 245 in Taiwan. However, Taiwan is reporting few new cases of COVID-19 and the hospitals taking part have not gotten any test subjects.
Voice of Huang Li-ming, Honorary Chair, Infectious Diseases Society of Taiwan："Ritonavir suppresses metabolism, so after you take it, it accumulates in the body. As the metabolism slows down, the dosage all over the body goes up. It reduces the risk of severe symptoms. Like Tamiflu, it's a form of early treatment. After taking it, you can rest at home instead of going to the hospital."
Doctors say PF-07321332 will be used as a preventative medicine to lower the risk of severe symptoms in people that had close contact with an infected person.