The U.S. government is investing $3.2 billion in the effort to develop an antiviral pill that could help patients with COVID-19 in the early days of their infection.
U.S. government spends billions to develop pill that could stop COVID-19
A pill could be available to the public by the end of the year.
Anthony Fauci, MD, said he looked forward to the time when patients with Covid-19 could buy antiviral pills at a pharmacy as soon as they tested positive.
BREAKING: The U.S. is devoting more than $3 billion to advance development of antiviral pills for COVID-19, an official briefed on the matter told @AP. The pills would be used to minimize symptoms after infection. https://t.co/Vwzx4wbTlH
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 17, 2021
Such pills already exist for other viruses, including influenza and HIV.
“We need this toolkit to shut down this pandemic.” Said David Kessler, scientific director of the national response to COVID-19.
The United States has already invested $18 billion in vaccine research, a tremendously successful use of government funds that has resulted in five effective methods of inoculation.
But Fauci and Kessler have been exchanging ideas on how to spur the development of an antiviral pill for months.
Fauci told The New York Times that a pill could be prescribed quickly to prevent COVID-19 infection from worsening:
“I wake up in the morning, I don’t feel very good, my sense of smell and taste are gone, my throat hurts,” Dr. Fauci said in an interview. “I called my doctor and said, ‘I have Covid and I need a prescription.'”