May 25, 2024

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Pfizer COVID-19 oral drug: Free for high-risk patients over 12 years old in U.S.

Pfizer COVID-19 oral drug: Free for high-risk patients over 12 years old in U.S.


Pfizer COVID-19 oral drug: Free for high-risk patients over 12 years old in U.S.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted authorization to Pfizer, the oral drug Paxlovid produced by Pfizer, on the 22nd, making the first COVID-19 drug that can be taken by people at home on the market.


According to the current plan, Paxlovid is suitable for high-risk patients over 12 years of age or who have developed early symptoms. The federal government will distribute this medicine to patients in need for free.


According to the Associated Press and the New York Times, people at high risk who can take Paxlovid at present include elderly patients, and people who have diabetes or heart disease, but people with serious kidney or liver problems should not take it.


Pfizer has not tested the efficacy of Paxlovid on pregnant women. Therefore, there is a label on the drug package.

It is recommended that pregnant women consult their doctors in advance. In addition, this drug may interfere with the effectiveness of contraceptives.

Therefore, Pfizer recommends that women use other methods of contraception while taking the drug. .


The pharmaceutical factory also reminded teenagers that although people aged 12 to 18 who are infected with the disease can take Paxlovid, their weight must reach 88 pounds.


In response to the news, President Biden said that the authorization of Paxlovid this time marks a major step for the country to get rid of the epidemic. The federal government will cooperate with state governments to ensure that drugs can be distributed fairly.


In fact, tens of thousands of packaged Paxlovids were ready at the Memphis (Memphis) warehouse in Tennessee before the FDA’s official approval. They could be sent to their destinations via trucks and planes at any time after waiting for orders from relevant departments.


Experts explain that Paxlovid is composed of two drugs, nirmatrelvir and ritonavir. The former specifically interferes with a certain enzyme of the virus and prevents the virus from replicating itself, while the latter reduces the body’s metabolism of other drugs, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of Paxlovid.


Each course of Paxlovid usually takes 5 days. The patient takes the medicine 2 times a day, 3 capsules each time, of which 2 capsules are Paxlovid, and the third capsule contains another antibody to increase Paxlovid’s body level.


The comment described that Paxlovid’s advantage is that it is easy to take. Currently, the monoclonal antibody drugs for the treatment of the new coronavirus require intravenous injection or injection, so professional medical care is required. On the contrary, Paxlovid is an oral drug and patients can take it at home.


In terms of side effects, currently known ones include diarrhea, high blood pressure, muscle diseases, and loss of taste.


In addition to Pfizer, another pharmaceutical company Merck (Merck)’s COVID-19 oral drug has also entered the end of approval, and it is expected that it will be authorized soon.

Merck and Pfizer’s drugs do not target mutated spike proteins and are expected to be effective against Omicron variants. However, in terms of side effects and effects, Pfizer’s Paxlovid seems to be slightly superior.

Among them, it is used in high-risk individuals. , Paxlovid can reduce hospital admissions and death rates by nearly 90%.


If an infected patient wants to apply for Paxlovid, they need to show a positive test certificate to get this medicine, but it must be noted that this medicine is only effective within 5 days after the onset of symptoms, so the patient should be tested as soon as possible when they feel unwell, and then get the medicine. Test results, otherwise it is easy to miss treatment opportunities.


Because of this factor, whether the supply of rapid test kits is sufficient becomes the key. Experts worry that patients will be delayed in self-testing, and then see a doctor to obtain a certificate, and then apply for drugs.

The whole process will take at least a few days, which may prevent the patient from taking it in time Paxlovid. In view of this, experts suggest that the government find other detection methods to break through the bottleneck in this area.


Pfizer can currently supply 180,000 Paxlovid globally, of which 60,000 to 70,000 are reserved for the US market. The company said that since the production time of the drug is as long as 9 months, the current quantity is limited, and it hopes that the production time can be reduced by half in the next year.


The federal government has already placed an order to purchase a dose sufficient to treat 10 million people, at a cost of 500 yuan per course of treatment.

Pfizer said that together with orders from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and other places, the company will step up production, hoping to supply 80 million copies of the drug to the world next year.


The drug Evusheld, which is produced by AstraZeneca and also uses monoclonal antibody technology, has recently received emergency authorization, but the drug is only preventive and is suitable for people whose vaccines are ineffective.





Pfizer COVID-19 oral drug: Free for high-risk patients over 12 years old in U.S.

(source:internet, reference only)

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Important Note: The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.