US makes COVID antiviral drugs more accessible at test sites

The White House announced on Thursday more steps to make Paxlovid’s antiviral therapy more accessible across the United States, as it predicts that COVID-19 infections will continue to spread over the summer travel period.

The nation’s first state-of-the-art test facility opens on Thursday in Rhode Island and gives patients immediate access to the drug once they have tested positive. More state-sponsored sites will open in the coming weeks in Massachusetts and New York City, both of which will see a sharp increase in infections.

Next week, the United States will send accredited federal doctors to several test sites in Minnesota and turn them into test sites. Federal regulators have also sent clearer instructions to doctors to help them determine how to manage Paxlovid’s interactions with other drugs, with the aim of helping prescribers find ways to bring the vital drug to more patients.

Despite a nationwide increase in COVID-19 cases, virus-related deaths have remained largely stable over the past eight weeks, with vaccine-induced stimulus shots and widely available treatments helping to eliminate infections and mortality.

Confirmed infections in the United States have quadrupled since the end of March, from about 25,000 a day to more than 105,000 a day now. However, the number of deaths, which have tended to delay infections by three to four weeks during the coronary heart disease epidemic, has been steadily declining and now stands at less than 300 per day.

This is the first time during the pandemic that the two have not developed together, said Covid-19 White House supervisor Dr. Ashish Jha. He said it was an important step in helping the United States return to normal life.

“What has been remarkable in the latest increase in infections that we are seeing is how persistent serious illness and especially deaths are eight weeks into this,” he said. “COVID is no longer the killer it was even a year ago.

Jha said that given the widespread use of home rapid tests, where their results are often unannounced to public health officials, the true number of daily infections is likely to be 200,000 or more – twice the reported rate – which he said only makes highland mortality more significant.

He counted vaccines but also more than quadrupling prescriptions in the last six weeks for the very effective treatment of Paxlovid.

Jha said that about 25,000 to 30,000 courses of Paxlovid are being prescribed every day. When administered within five days of onset of symptoms, the drug has been shown to reduce 90% of hospital admissions and deaths among patients most likely to develop a serious illness.

Due to changes in the way Paxlovid is distributed to countries, the number of pharmacies where it is available has doubled in the last month to almost 40,000.

“We are now at a point where I basically believe that most deaths from COVID can be prevented, that the deaths that occur out there are largely unnecessary and there are many tools we now have to “Make sure people do not die from this disease,” Jha told the Associated Press on Wednesday.

As the summer months approach, Jha says the “number one” thing people need to do is “go and get a boost” – and if they have a revolutionary infection, they should consult their doctor about getting Paxlovid. He said that meetings of all sizes could take place more safely because of the equipment available – if people use them.

“In places in the country where the incidence rate is much lower, where the infection is spreading more, I am really worried that we will see, unfortunately, we could see a more serious illness,” he said.

“Being vaccinated and stimulated is a big part of ensuring that such activities are significantly safer,” he added. “And of course we want to make Paxlovid as widely available throughout the country as possible, so if you end up getting a revolutionary infection, you’re still protected from serious illness.

The United States has ordered 20 million doses of Paxlovid from drugmaker Pfizer and there is a risk that the country will be emptied this winter if the drug continues to be widely used. The White House has been pushing Congress for additional funding for months to support the purchase of more Paxlovid and other treatments, as well as additional stimulation.

Although the government has begun planning for a possible need to dose federal vaccines if Congress does not respond, Jha now said his message to the prescribers was that they should not worry about the supply.

“I think we should use as much as necessary to protect the United States now,” Jha said.

US makes COVID antiviral drugs more accessible at test sites

Source link US makes COVID antiviral drugs more accessible at test sites

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