Paxlovid, the most promising Covid-19 drug, receives WHO approval to be made available in more countries

12 Jan 2023 • The generic version of Paxlovid, the Pfizer-made antiviral drug that is the best treatment choice for patients at risk of developing severe covid, will soon be available in low-and middle-income countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) gave preapproval on Dec. 26 to Hetero, an Indian pharmaceutical company, for nirmacom, the generic version of Paxlovid. The generic is comprised of two drugs: nirmatrelvir and ritonavir. Paxlovid has been available for a little over a year in the US, but limited supplies, approval delays, and high prices have kept it out of reach for many low- and middle-income countries. Findings from a Johns Hopkins Medicine research study published in JAMA Network Open provide strong evidence that people who are pregnant and have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 can safely take the antiviral drug Paxlovid to reduce the possibility of severe disease. In their study, the researchers selected participants from 3,442 people who were pregnant, diagnosed with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 and seen at centers within the Johns Hopkins Health Systems between March 15, 2020, and Aug. 20, 2022. The majority of participants had received at least their initial COVID vaccinations and started Paxlovid therapy within one day of symptom onset. Ninety-six percent (45 out of 47) of the participants completed the course of therapy, tolerating it well. Overall, the incidence of maternal and fetal complications from Paxlovid were within expected limits. The drug has already received emergency use authorization in India, and Hetero says it plans to make it available for purchase in 95 countries.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine | Read full story

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