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Pfizer COVID pill approved in Japan, following Merck treatment

Concerns over supply emerge as nations race to secure drugs for their people

Pfizer's Paxlovid is a pill to treat COVID-19.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan's health ministry on Thursday approved Pfizer's COVID-19 pill Paxlovid for patients with mild to moderate symptoms, making it the second such oral medication to receive the fast-track treatment.

The government has already set aside doses of Paxlovid for 40,000 people, and delivery of the pills to health care facilities will start on Monday.

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