American citizens and their physicians should be aware that the U.S. has a sufficient supply of the life-saving COVID-19 antiviral medicine Paxlovid and that it no longer needs to be rationed, according to President Joe Biden and his administration.
When it was first approved in December, the availability of the Pfizer regimen was very restricted. However, as COVID-19 cases throughout the nation have decreased and production has expanded, supply has become far more abundant. The White House is now working to increase public knowledge of the drug and to make it more accessible to those who need it.
Hospitalizations and mortality among patients who are most prone to develop severe illness have been shown to be reduced by around 90 percent when paxlovid is administered within five days of symptoms showing. More than 2,600 people died from the coronavirus at the peak of the omicron wave earlier this year, but only around 350 people die per day currently.
Antiviral regimen use has “more than doubled” in the last few weeks, says a senior administration official. The administration has increased its supply of the medication, which could save lives and prevent severe sickness if given quickly enough, the official says.
The pills ordered by the United States are enough to treat 20 million individuals for many more months. Additional COVID-19 response funds must be approved by Congress, according to the administration, in order for further deliveries to be completed.
Next week, Biden officials intend to emphasize the drug’s relative availability, and government officials will be stepping up their contact with patients and doctors.
The Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer’s drug for adults and children ages 12 and older who have a positive COVID-19 test and early symptoms and are at the highest risk of having a serious outcome. These people are adults over the age of 65, as well as those with illnesses like obesity and heart disease. The drug is not recommended for people with severe kidney or liver disease.
As part of the endeavor, a direct-to-pharmacy ordering mechanism for the medicine will be established to increase access to the medication. Currently, the federal government lets the states decide where the medication is sold. There are about 20,000 places that sell the drug, including 2,000 “test to treat” clinics that may offer treatment soon after a positive test result.
The government believes the pharmacy channel, which it used to make COVID-19 vaccines more available more than a year ago, will be used to make antiviral drugs more available in the future.