Sunday, May 22News That Matters

Pfizer COVID Pill

Pfizer COVID Pill, The world’s leading pharmaceutical company Pfizer has released an innovative; anti-viral drug which seems to be promising according to the latest WHO reports. The World Health Organization is considering it as the ‘superior choice’ of medication and treatment; especially for the unvaccinated, immunocompromised and elderly people with Covid-19.

Experts said that Paxlovid pills are more prone to prevent hospitalizations than the other alternatives. As an even milder form of Covid 19 can be serious and lethal for the people; who are still unvaccinated, or immunocompromised or are elderly. This new anti-viral drug has strongly been recommended by WHO. As of now, the organization is considering Paxlovid more effective than Ramdesivir, Merck’s Molnupiravir pill and monoclonal antibodies. Now let’s dive into the details of Pfizer’s new ‘wonder drug’.

What is Pfizer COVID Pill?

Pfizer manufactures Paxlovid, an antiviral medication. A combination of two generic medications named ritonavir and nirmatrelvir. This new medication has emerged as the preferred method of treatment for the unvaccinated; elderly or immunocompromised people with Covid 19.

In the trials, Paxlovid has reduced the risk of hospitalization among  Covid-19 patients by 85%. The trials also stated that there was no significant difference in mortality; and “little or no risk of adverse effects leading to drug discontinuation”.

Limitations

According to the World Health Organization, some of the limitations of Paxlovid are:

  • It is only effective in the early stages of Covid-19.
  • As there needs to be an early diagnosis of the disease and the doctor needs to prescribe the pill quickly; this can prove to be an obstacle for the developing and underdeveloped countries.
  • The Paxlovid course is for five days and patients must start taking the pills within five days; of the onset of symptoms. Where as Ramdesivir can be taken within seven days of symptoms setting; in but it is administered intravenously over three days.

Who is Eligible for It?

According to WHO, Paxlovid is only for people over the age of 18. But pregnant and breast feeding women can not take the medicine. WHO has also recommended that the drug is most effective on elderly and immunocompromised people. Those who have a low risk of Covid related complications would not benefit much from the drug. However, the organization has refused to comment on Paxlovid effect on people; with severe symptoms as there is not enough data to make a conclusive suggestion.

The release of Paxlovid has been slow in India as well as the whole Asia. A source in the Union Ministry has reportedly stared that Paxlovid launch has been delayed; in the country because of pricing negotiations with the local clinical trials.

However, WHO “strongly recommended” Pfizer that it should let more generic manufacturers produce the drug; so that it can be available faster at affordable prices. Reuters has reported that Pfizer has initiated talks with 100 governments for Paxlovid. The pharmaceutical company has already signed agreements with 26 countries.

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