May 26, 2024

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WHO approved Pfizer COVID oral drug Paxlovid for high-risk patients

WHO approved Pfizer COVID oral drug Paxlovid for high-risk patients

WHO approved Pfizer COVID oral drug Paxlovid for high-risk patients.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on April 21 that Pfizer’s COVID-19 oral drug Paxlovid was approved for use in high-risk patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, after a United Nations agency analysis of trial data showed that the treatment greatly reduced the risk of hospitalization .

Pfizer Announces Commercial Pricing of Antiviral Drug Paxlovid at $1,390 for COVID-19 Treatment

WHO says Pfizer’s oral antiviral drug, a combination of nilmaterevir and ritonavir tablets, is strongly recommended for non-severe COVID-19 patients with risk of developing severe disease and hospitalization. Highest risk, such as unvaccinated, older, or immunosuppressed patients.

A study involving 3,078 patients showed that with this treatment, the risk of hospitalization was reduced by 85%.

In high-risk groups (more than 10% risk of hospitalization), this translates to 84 fewer hospitalizations per 1,000 patients.

In addition to strongly recommending the use of Nirmatrevir and ritonavir, the WHO has also updated its recommendations for Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir, stating that the therapy should be used for mild or moderate COVID-19 patients with a high risk of hospitalization patient.

On April 21, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated its COVID-19 treatment guidelines in the New England Journal of Medicine (BMJ).

The most important thing in this update is a comprehensive introduction to the indications, relevant evidence and precautions for Pfizer’s oral antiviral drug Paxlovid.

The WHO said it strongly recommends Pfizer’s new coronavirus treatment drug neimatevir/ritonavir combination (ie Paxlovid) for mildly ill patients with a high risk of hospitalization.

In a study published in the BMJ, WHO experts pointed out that Paxlovid is the “best option” for unvaccinated, elderly or immunocompromised patients with mild symptoms of Covid-19, and not having adequate vaccine protection is an additional risk to consider factor,.

Experts explained that Paxlovid is more effective at preventing severe hospitalization than other alternative medicines, is less dangerous than other drugs in the same class, and is easier to administer than intravenous drugs.

WHO’s conclusions are based on the results of two randomized clinical trials involving 3,078 patients, which showed that the drug reduced the risk of hospitalization by 85%, reducing hospitalizations by 84 per 1,000 patients in high-risk groups, which is highly likely. Evidence from the letter indicates that there is little risk of adverse effects due to discontinuation.

However, WHO does not recommend the use of the drug in patients with a low risk of hospitalization because the benefit is minimal. At the same time, they did not recommend the use of critically ill patients with COVID-19s, because there is currently no trial data on Paxlovid in this group.

The WHO also stressed the limitations of the oral antiviral drug, which “can only be used in the early stages of the disease”.

The World Health Organization has warned that it is “extremely concerned” that the lessons of inequality in access to the COVID-19 vaccine will be repeated, and that low- and middle-income countries will once again be “pushed to the end of the queue” to obtain the drug.

At present, although there are several COVID-19 vaccines in the world, the choice of special COVID-19 treatment drugs is limited.

Pfizer’s Paxlovid is an oral small molecule anti-COVID-19 drug for the treatment of mild to moderate adult COVID-19 patients with high risk factors for progression to severe disease, such as advanced age, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, etc. Patients with high risk factors for severe illness.

Prior to this, China’s State Food and Drug Administration announced on February 11 this year that Pfizer’s new coronavirus treatment drug nematicavir tablet/ritonavir tablet combination package (ie Paxlovid) was approved for import registration under emergency conditions. This is the first oral drug approved in China specifically for the treatment of new coronavirus infection.

Pfizer priced each course of Paxlovid at about $530 , while Pfizer’s rival Merck (MRK.N) priced the COVID-19 oral tablet molnupiravir at $700 per course of treatment. 

WHO strongly recommends that Pfizer increase the transparency of its pricing and transactions, and expand the licensing scope of its drug patent pool, so that more generic manufacturers can start producing the drug and make it available more quickly and at an affordable price for more  patients.

WHO approved Pfizer COVID oral drug Paxlovid for high-risk patients.

(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.