China’s new antiviral pill is an effective alternative to treating Covid-19

BEIJING: A new Chinese antiviral pill can be used as an effective alternative to treat Covid-19 in addition to the oral drug Paxlovid.

Report Channel News Asia, clinical trial results published by The New England Journal of Medicine last Wednesday show that the drug VV116 is as effective as Paxlovid in curbing mild and moderate symptoms of Covid-19 in adults who are at risk if the disease worsens.

A Phase 3 trial conducted in China involving 822 participants revealed that newly diagnosed patients who took VV116 recovered after a median of four days, while those who took Paxlovid recovered after a median of five days.

The study also concluded that participants who took VV116 until their clinical recovery from Covid-19 had fewer side effects.

However, the effectiveness of the new drug for clinical recovery, symptom resolution and prevention of Covid-19 remains unknown compared to Paxlovid.

Even the safety profile of the antiviral drug VV116 has not been fully evaluated.

The results of the study were released as infections surged across China after Beijing announced an easing of its zero-Covid policy.

China’s hospitals are under immense pressure as more Chinese people contract Covid-19, with the country experiencing a shortage of drugs specifically to treat the virus.

Paxlovid is in short supply across China and Pfizer said on December 13 that it is working to improve supplies to ensure adequate access to the drug as cases increase.

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