Fauci: US to spend $3.2B to develop antiviral COVID-19 pills

Coronavirus

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing to examine an update from Federal officials on efforts to combat COVID-19, Tuesday, May 11, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is devoting more than $3 billion to advance development of antiviral pills for COVID-19 and other dangerous viruses that could turn into pandemics.

The pills would be used to minimize symptoms after infection. They are in development and could begin arriving by year’s end, pending the completion of clinical trials.

Top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci announced the plan Thursday at a White House briefing. Fauci says the new program would invest in “accelerating things that are already in progress” for COVID-19 but would also work to innovate new therapies for other dangerous viruses.

Several companies, including Pfizer, Roche and AstraZeneca, are testing antivirals in pill form.

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