WHO recommends Pfizer’s Paxlovid pills for high-risk COVID-19 patients | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel

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On Friday, the World Health Organization made a strong recommendation for Pfizer’s antiviral drug for mild and moderate COVID-19 patients at the highest risk of hospitalization.

According to the Global Health Authority, the oral antiviral drug, which is a combination of nirmatrelvir and ritonavir tablets, is “so far the best therapeutic choice for high-risk patients,” according to the Global Health Authority.

It is strongly recommended for patients 12 years of age or older with non-severe COVID-19 who are most at risk of developing serious illness and hospitalization, such as unvaccinated, elderly, or immunosuppressed patients.

However, the WHO advised against its use in lower risk patients as the benefits have been shown to be negligible.

The new WHO recommendation is based on new data from two randomized controlled trials involving 3,078 patients. The data shows that the risk of hospitalization is reduced by 85 percent after this treatment. In a risk group (more than 10 percent risk of hospitalization), this means 84 fewer hospital admissions per 1,000 patients.

Meanwhile, the WHO also called for broad geographic coverage and transparency from Pfizer.

The WHO said it is “extremely concerning that – as happened with COVID-19 vaccines – low- and middle-income countries will once again be pushed to the end of the row when it comes to access to this treatment”.

It said availability, lack of price transparency in bilateral agreements made by the producer, and the need for rapid and accurate testing before it is administered make this life-saving drug a major challenge for low- and middle-income countries.

Recent data from the U.S. Department of Health revealed that nearly 600,000 courses of Pfizer’s Paxlovid are currently unused on pharmacy shelves, the Daily Mail reported.

Experts suggest that too few doctors know that the treatments are available. In addition, a lack of testing and pills restricted to immunocompromised may explain its low use, the report said.

One obstacle for low- and middle-income countries, according to the WHO, is that the drug should only be administered when the disease is in its early stages. It called for rapid and accurate testing for a successful outcome with this therapy.

Furthermore, Pfizer’s lack of transparency makes it difficult for public health organizations to get an accurate picture of the drug’s availability, which countries are involved in bilateral deals, and what they are paying.

In addition, a licensing agreement from Pfizer with the Medicines Patent Pool limits the number of countries that can benefit from the generic production of the drug.

The above article was published from a thread source with minimal changes to the headline and text.

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