The dual-active drug should be taken within five days of the first symptoms. According to the EU Commissioner for Health, the Paxlovid antiviral pill “has the potential to make a difference for people at high risk of progression to severe Covid”
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended conditional marketing authorization for Paxlovid, the anti-Covid pill manufactured by Pfizer. Second Stella Kyriakides, the EU Commissioner for Health, the drug “has the potential to make a real difference for people at high risk of progression to severe Covid”. Paxlovid, currently approved or authorized for emergency use in a dozen countries, is recommended for Covid-19 therapy in adults who do not require supplemental oxygen and have an increased risk of serious disease.
Paxlovid is the first oral antiviral for Covid recommended in the EU, but not in Italy, where at the beginning of 2022 Aifa has already authorized Merck’s drug molnupiravir (which Ema is still examining and may soon approve). Kyriakides explains that there are “promising evidence of its effectiveness against Omicron and other variants “.
The company said it was prepared to make available, by the end of 2022, up to 120 million cycles of treatment. Pfizer reiterated his I commit to ensure equal access to therapy: for this in the pandemic phase Paxlovid will be offered second differentiated rates based on income of the different countries. Furthermore, Pfizer, like Merck, has already entered into non-exclusive licensing agreements with generic drug manufacturers, so as to ensure the availability of the antiviral in low- and middle-income countries at controlled prices. The cost of each cycle it should be in line with that of Merck’s drug, Molnupiravir, which costs $ 700 on the US market. In Italy, this cost is covered by the national health system.
How does it work
Paxlovid prevents the disease, or the aggravation of symptoms. The drug does not prevent the virus from entering cells, but it blocks its replication. Specifically, Paxlovid consists of two active ingredients (PF-07321332 and ritonavir) contained in two different tablets, which must be taken together, twice a day. The first active ingredient works by reducing the ability of Sars-CoV-2 to replicate. The second, on the other hand, serves to prolong the action of the first, so as to allow it to stay longer in the body. In order for it to be effective, Paxlovid it must be administered as soon as possible and in any case within 5 days of the onset of symptoms.
Results from a study of 2,246 high-risk patients published by Pfizer show 89% effectiveness in preventing hospitalization and death.
January 27, 2022 (change January 27, 2022 | 17:22)
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