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November 7, 2021 9:23 am

Israel to Contact Pfizer ‘in Coming Days’ About COVID-19 Pill

avatar by i24 News

Hospital staff provide medical care for patients at a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) ward, amid a surge in new cases that has forced Israel into a second nationwide lockdown, at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov), Tel Aviv, Israel, Sept. 21, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun.

i24 News – Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash said on Sunday morning that Israel will contact Pfizer “in the coming days” to discuss an agreement to purchase the company’s experimental antiviral pill for COVID-19.

“We will do it in the coming days. It sounds promising, but we need to learn about the success data, side effects, costs,” Ash explained in an interview with Israeli radio station 103FM.

Hebrew media reported on Saturday night that Israel had not started negotiations with the US pharmaceutical company on purchasing the medication, which was shown in early trials to cut by 89% the chances of hospitalization or death for adults at risk of developing severe disease.

“We are in discussions with 90 governments around the world right now, active discussion, and some of them already signed,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said on Friday.

Ash said the Health Ministry is taking a different approach with the treatment compared to the vaccines in terms of waiting for the results to be published before entering negotiations.

“I think the good relationship with Pfizer will help us bring the drug quickly,” the health chief remarked.

The company is seeking approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the pill, which could hit the market in the coming months.

A COVID-19 pill from Pfizer’s competitor Merck is already under review by the FDA and has been authorized for use by the British government.

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