Tokyo — US pharmaceutical company Pfizer said on Friday that it had applied for Japanese government approval for oral COVID-19 treatment.
Pfizer said in a statement that the application was based on a global Phase II / III study in which Japan participated.
With the proliferation of COVID-19 cases again, Japan is making a big bet on oral treatment to prevent serious infections and deaths. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said last week he was aiming to distribute Pfizer pills next month after securing two million doses in a December call with CEO Albert Bourla.
The government is Merck & Co. Inc. After agreeing to pay about $ 1.2 billion for 1.6 million courses to and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, we have already begun distributing molnupiravir antivirals. Shionogi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. of Japan is developing its own tablets and plans to supply 1 million tablets this year.
Highly infectious variants of Omicron are causing a surge in cases of COVID-19. According to the national broadcast NHK, Japan recorded 18,859 new infections on Thursday. This is the highest since September 2, the fifth wave of the pandemic.