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Deployment of Covid pills essential, says CBI chief

Deployment of Covid pills essential to protect economy, CBI chief says

The president of the Confederation of British Industry has urged regulators to urgently approve an antiviral pill that could be vital in tackling Covid and protecting the economy.

The Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency is considering approving Pfizer’s Paxlovid. Trial data showed it reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89%.

The government has ordered 250,000 courses of the £ 375 drug and 480,000 of the antiviral drug Molnupiravir from Merck Sharp and Dohme, which cuts the risk of hospitalization or death by 50%.

‘This pill could be a game changer,’ said CBI President Lord Bilimoria

CBI President Lord Bilimoria told The Mail on Sunday: “The same urgency and the same efforts must be made to approve and roll out these tablets as it does for the vaccination effort. This pill could be a game-changer in the fight against this miserable virus.

The complex manufacturing process makes drugs difficult to produce quickly in large quantities. But Bilimoria urged ministers to make new ordinances.

He said the tablets should be provided “to all general practitioners in the country” for patients who test positive for Covid.

Bilimoria has called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to offer further support to companies affected by the Omicron push.

Bilimoria said: “Look at the restaurants, bars and retail outlets – there is so much suffering and they need support again.

“It’s like hitting the ball in tennis and not going all the way. “