The UK has approved the use of Pfizer’s anti-Covid pill

The UK has approved the use of Pfizer’s oral antiviral drug, Paxlovid, for people with mild to moderate Covid 19 and who are at risk of getting worse.

The announcement was made by the British Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on Friday.

Paxlovid is an antiviral medicine with a combination of active ingredients, PF-07321332 and Ritonavir, which are part of a class of medicines called protease inhibitors, which are currently used to treat HIV, hepatitis C and other viral diseases. preventing the virus from replicating.

The drug has been approved for use in people aged 18 years and over with mild to moderate forms of Covid 19 and at least one risk factor for the development of a severe disease.

These risk factors include obesity, old age (60 years and over), diabetes, or heart disease.

The two active substances in Paxlovid are given as separate tablets which are packaged together and taken orally, twice a day, orally for five days. The drug can be used outside the hospital setting.

PF-07321332 is a new antiviral, which means it has not been approved for use before. However, Ritonavir has been used with some anti-HIV medicines for many years to “stimulate” their activity, which is similar to what is done with PF-07321332, the MHRA said in a statement.

In a clinical trial, a five-day course of Paxlovid treatment reduced the risk of hospitalization and COVID-19-related death by 89% over 28 days compared with a placebo group when treatment was administered. started within three days of the onset of symptoms.

The number of hospitalizations and deaths was 0.8 percent in the Paxlovid group, compared with 7 percent in the placebo group.

Based on clinical trial data, Paxlovid is most effective when given in the early stages of infection, so the MHRA recommends that it be used as soon as possible and within five days of the onset of symptoms.

The MHRA said it was too early to know if Omicron had any effect on the effectiveness of Paxlovid, but the MHRA was working with the company to determine.

The UK has provided over 2.75 million doses of this antiviral treatment, according to the DPA.

Merck’s rival anti-Covid pill, Molnupiravir, was approved by the United Kingdom last month, but the drug reduced hospitalizations and deaths in the clinical trial of high-risk patients by only about 30 percent, writes Reuters.

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