The first shipment of 10,000 doses of Paxlovid, Pfizer’s oral antiviral pill, hit the French market on Friday, according to the French health ministry.
“Paxlovid can be prescribed by any physician for early access. It will be available in city pharmacies and in hospital pharmacies,” the ministry said in a statement released on Wednesday.
The French medical regulator, the High Health Authority, green-lit the pill on Jan. 21. The European Medicines Agency followed suit on Jan. 28, giving it conditional marketing authorization across the union.
Paxlovid can cut the risk of hospitalization or death by almost 90% if given to high-risk adults within a few days of their first symptoms, according to data announced by Pfizer.
France is the first country in the European Union to make the medication available, but it’s not the only one in the market. Germany announced it placed an order for one million doses of Paxlovid at the end of 2021.