Covid-19 pills are becoming more widely available in the US 2022-04-26 18:44:00

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The Biden administration said on Tuesday that it plans to facilitate infection of the injured covid-19 treatments Which some health leaders and patient advocates say is very difficult to obtain even though there is a federal program to help make it more widely available.

Administration He was a big promoter of vaccines To reduce the risk of serious illness from Covid-19. Officials also urged more use of two pills because they are easy to take at home:

Pfizer company

Baxlovid And

merck

& Co.’s and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP’s Molnopiravir, also known as Lagevrio. Both were approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration in December.

The licensing of these pills marks a turning point in Covid-19 treatment because people can take the treatments at home soon after they develop symptoms, which helps prevent hospitalization.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the scientific understanding of its transmission and prevention has evolved. Daniela Hernandez of the Wall Street Journal explains the strategies that have worked to stop the spread of the virus outdated in 2022. Illustration: Adele Morgan

To expand access to the pills, the administration plans in the coming weeks to double the 20,000 pharmacies, community health centers and hospitals where antiviral drugs are currently available to patients. Dr Ashish Jha, the White House response coordinator for Covid-19, said at a news briefing that pharmacies would also be allowed to order free antivirals from the federal government.

The moves come on the heels of reports of frustration with the purported test-to-treat management initiative to make the treatment more widely available. The program aims to ensure that people get the test at the pharmacy and get antiviral drugs right away at the same location at no cost.

The supply of antiviral drugs, which had been limited early on, has improved. Patient groups and some health leaders said it is difficult for patients to get antivirals because pills are not in stock or they are unable to get immediate appointments with providers.

Dr Jha said some providers may not be familiar with the drugs or realize there are more treatments available, so there is room for more education and awareness.

A third senior administration official said the federal government has agreed to buy up to 20 million baxilvid plates and has enough funding to order. The United States purchased 3.1 million courses from Merck-Ridgeback Estate More than 2.6 million courses have been dedicated to states and territories to date.

Pfizer’s Covid-19 treatment Paxlovid was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration in December.


picture:

Pfizer/Reuters

Paxlovid has been found to be significantly more effective than Lagevrio in clinical trials, and regulatory agencies and guidelines have recommended that Paxlovid be used if possible.

“So if the test result is positive, you can go and get treatment with baxlovid, of course if you qualify and are considered by a provider,” Dr. Jha said.

Other actions include expanding testing to processing sites from the current 2,200 sites to additional communities. The administration will decide in the coming weeks how best to expand and expand the federally supported sites if necessary during any possible future increase in cases.

These sites will be targeted to meet demand and increase equitable access to Covid-19 treatments and will work in direct collaboration with state and local health agencies.

Other efforts to promote drug therapy will include outreach and education to medical providers about drugs and a public service campaign about treatment options.

Merck’s Agevrio may be prescribed to adults at risk of developing severe disease within five days after mild to moderate Covid-19 symptoms develop. Doctors can prescribe Pfizer’s Paxlovid for high-risk patients 12 years of age or older early in the course of the disease, within five days after they develop symptoms.

In November, the administration began exploring ways to expand accessincluding whether Paxlovid can be made available on the commercial market in retail pharmacies.

write to Stephanie Armor in stephanie.armour@wsj.com and Jared S. Hopkins in jared.hopkins@wsj.com

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