Several companies, including Pfizer, are developing antiviral drugs that could halt the progression of COVID-19 symptoms or prevent the onset of disease for close contacts of people with infections. Theoretically, the therapeutics would be another tool used to fight the coronavirus alongside vaccines.
Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is confident there will be some successes, noting that the coronavirus isn't "a hard virus to drug in terms of how it replicates." But there is a bit of a race against the clock on this issue, although the reason for that probably won't be the worst thing you've heard since the pandemic began.
It's becoming more difficult to find "virus naive" patients in the United States, Gottlieb said during an appearance on MSNBC's Squawk Box on Monday. Because so many people have either been vaccinated or had a previous infection, it's increasingly challenging to find enough people who don't have some form of immunity to enroll in trials to determine the efficacy of the drug treatments. Watch Gottlieb's explanation below.