In this file photo taken on November 16, 2021 This handout photo provided on November 16, 2021 courtesy of Pfizer shows the making of its experimental Covid-19 antiviral pills inside his laboratory in Freiburg, Germany (Photo by / AFP)
The move would allow the European Medicines Agency to advise countries that wanted to use the US pharma giant's promising antiviral treatment ahead of formal approval across the EU.
"EMA is reviewing currently available data on the use of Paxlovid, an oral treatment for Covid-19 developed by Pfizer," the Amsterdam-based European Medicines Agency (EMA) said.
"EMA is starting this review to support national authorities who may decide on its early use for Covid-19, for example in emergency use settings, prior to marketing authorisation," it said.
A full "rolling review" for formal approval is expected to start next week but the EMA said it wanted to be able to help national authorities "in the shortest possible timeframe".