Pfizer is on to raise hopes with the new oral drug Paxlovid to play a key role in treating the Omicron- sub linkage.
while WHO strongly recommended people with nonsevere covid effects use paxlovid as a measure of prevention. People having multiple health complications are more prone to get hospitalization, with a positive covid report either by being unimmunized or old. The recommendation was based on new data from two randomized controlled trials involving 3,078 patients. The data show that the risk of hospitalization was reduced by 85% following this treatment, the WHO said in a statement.
paxlovid is made up of nirmatrelvir tablets and ritonavir tablets, packed easily for oral use. It was given by the Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) by the USFDA in December last year. As Covid cases in India continue to rise, a new drug from pharma major Pfizer has helped ease some of the fears. The biggest challenge of the pandemic has been preventing mortality. On April 26, India reported 1,399 Covid deaths in the last 24 hours. Moreover, due to milder symptoms, there is apprehension that patients are not taking the disease as seriously as before.
WHO CAN TAKE PAXLOVID?
The pill is administered as three tablets (two tablets of nirmatrelvir and one of ritonavir) taken twice a day for five days for a regimen of 30 tablets.
The WHO recommendation applies to people over the age of 18, but not to pregnant or breastfeeding women. It also does not apply to patients with a low risk of complications from the disease, because the benefit would be minimal.
The WHO’s experts have also declined to give an opinion on patients with severe forms of the disease, due to a lack of data.
WHAT ARE PAXLOVID LIMITATIONS?
Stressing the limitations of antiviral treatments, WHO experts said, “The medicine can only be administered while the disease is at its early stages.” This means the patients must quickly test positive and be prescribed the pill by a doctor, all of which can pose obstacles for low- and middle-income countries, the WHO said.
Patients must start taking their Paxlovid pills within five days of the onset of symptoms; the course then lasts five days. Remdesivir can be taken within seven days of symptoms setting in, but it is administered intravenously over three days.
HOW MUCH DOES PAXLOVID COST?
A full course of Paxlovid reportedly costs $530 in the United States. Another source, unconfirmed by WHO, gave the price of $250 in an upper-middle-income country. Remdesivir meanwhile costs $520, but generic versions made by companies in India sell for $53-$64. Whereas in India it’s 1,400 INR for a full course.
But on Friday the WHO “strongly recommended” that Pfizer let more generic manufacturers produce the drug and “make it available faster at affordable prices”.
According to a Reuters report, Pfizer has said it initiated talks with 100 governments for Paxlovid, and agreements are in place with 26 countries.
“Governments are trying to define their demand in light of the evolving landscape with Omicron, future variants, and other antiviral options,” Pfizer said. “This is a rapidly evolving situation and changes hour by hour.”