Pfizer will spend $120 million to increase production of Paxlovid, as the White House continues its efforts to increase access to the first pill authorized by the Food and Drug Administration to treat the coronaviruses.
Pfizer will create 250 new jobs at its largest plant in Michigan to increase production of Paxlovid.
Pfizer aims to produce 120 million courses of the drug this year, which the FDA has authorized for emergency use for high-risk patients.
Two weeks ago, the White House announced it had doubled the number of sites where Paxlovid is available nationwide in order to increase availability.
7,000,000. Pfizer has shipped 12 million Paxlovid treatment courses to 37 countries so far. The White House said two weeks ago that the number of people filling Paxlovid prescriptions in the US has gone up.
A growing number of people have reported Covid infections that were positive for the coronaviruses after taking Paxlovid for five days. A paper published last week found that people who take Paxlovid can get a rebound Covid-19 infection even if they don't show any symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control advised people to avoid using the drug for five days if they had a rebound case. It is not known how often the rebound infections occur or why, but the infections seem to be mild.
Some scientists view Pfizer's drug as a "game-changer" in the fight against Covid. The pill was approved by the FDA last December for people over the age of 12 who are at a higher risk of developing Covid. The White House has been pushing to make the drug more accessible. In March, the Biden Administration announced "test-to-treat" sites across the country where people can get tested and receive Covid treatments if they are positive for the coronaviruses, but some experts say the program has not sped up access to the drug. The FDA is considering the option of allowing patients to secure the medication more quickly if pharmacists are unable to prescribe it.
The only US site to make Paxlovid is Pfizer's plant in Kalamazoo.
The paper suggests that some covid infections may be more dangerous than first thought.
The White House wants Paxlovid to be available in more covid patients' hands.
Live updates on the coronaviruses.