Antiviral pills have been able to provide treatment for viruses like HIV, influenza and more. The U.S. is now investing in a pill for COVID-19.
The COVID-19 vaccine was a worldly effort that resulted in the fastest vaccine ever made. The shot put a door stop in the pandemic and allowed millions of people to feel safe and return to a sense of normalcy.
Now that there’s a vaccine that drastically reduces the odds of contracting the disease, the U.S. government is interested in a pill that could treat COVID-19 infections.
As reported by the New York Times, the U.S. government is investing $3 billion dollars into researching a pill to fight COVID-19. This funding will speed up a program that will facilitate clinical trials of pills that are in development, with the goal of having a first generation of them ready by the end of the year. The program will also work on developing pills that can treat other viruses and prevent future pandemics.
Antiviral pills are used to treat a wide variety of conditions like HIV, influenza and more. While there’s a year of evidence and data to work with, during the bulk of the pandemic doctors had a hard time curing sick people with COVID-19.
The pill would ideally work when taken early on in the progression of the disease, attacking the infection quickly and preventing its spread and propagation, which is when complications arise for the majority of people. Still, despite the promising pills in the program, it’s difficult to get a functioning pill on the first trial, so experts believe it will take a couple of years to get a functioning prescription for COVID-19.
The program would provide support for the development of pills that can treat coronaviruses, flaviviruses (transmitted primarily by ticks and mosquitoes) and more. Even if the pills are not effective right away, they create a groundwork that could help curb future pandemics and save millions of lives.