Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19

The Biden administration plans to invest billions of dollars in antiviral pills to treat COVID-19 and ready the U.S. to combat future viruses that have the potential to spark a pandemic.

Officials committed to spending more than $3 billion on the Antiviral Program for Pandemics that aims to support and speed up the development and production of antiviral treatments for COVID-19 to reduce serious illnesses and deaths.

The multiyear funding will help to launch clinical research and manufacturing, and the hope is for some treatments to be available by the end of 2021.

The goal of the program is to produce an oral drug that Americans can take early in their COVID-19 infection to prevent hospitalizations and fatalities from the disease. Such an oral pill would operate similarly to antiviral treatments for influenza, HIV and hepatitis C.