The European Union’s medicines regulator on Thursday conditionally approved the use of the Covid-19 antiviral pill of Pfizer Inc for the treatment of adults at risk of severe disease, as the region strives to increase its arsenal to combat the Omicron variant.
The approval of the European Medicines Agency (EMA, for its acronym in English) allows EU member states to use the drug after the regulator gave guidance for its emergency use at the end of last year.
Italy, Germany and Belgium are some of the EU countries that have purchased the drug.
In December, the United States authorized the use of Paxlovid and the similar drug Merck, molnupiravir.
Merck’s pill is also under review in the EU, but approval is taking longer because the company reviewed data from its trials in November, saying the drug was significantly less effective than previously thought.