Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Tuesday hailed his company’s antiviral pill Paxlovid as a “game changer” after final trial data showed it reduced risk of hospitalization among high-risk groups by nearly 90%.

An antiviral pill that prevents serious illness, to be taken soon after people develop symptoms, has long been understood as a path to easing the pandemic. Alas, the National Institutes of Health and Biden administration were slow to invest in oral treatments, which is one reason the pills have taken longer to develop than have vaccines and monoclonal antibodies.

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