Health

Two new Covid antivirals secured to protect the most endangered this winter

Molunpiravir has been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death in at-risk adults by 50% (Photo: Shutterstock)

The UK government has secured two new Covid-19 treatment deals that will help protect the most endangered people this winter.

Antiviral drugs used to treat people infected with the virus or to prevent exposed individuals from becoming infected will be available for the next few months, awaiting approval by UK drug regulators. need to do it.

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What is the new treatment?

Treatment comes from the pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp and Dome (MSD) PfizerIt aims to protect those who are most vulnerable to Covid-19, such as the elderly and those with weakened immunity.

The Department of Health (DHSC) has confirmed that MSD has secured 480,000 courses of Molnupiravir and 250,000 courses of Pfizer’s PF-07321332 / Ritonavir.

Ritonavir is a widely used drug in combination therapy for HIV infection.

Clinical trials have shown that Molunpiravir reduces the risk of hospitalization or death in adults at risk of mild to moderate Covid-19 by 50%.

Pfizer’s antiviral therapy has just begun Phase 3 trials.

Health Minister Sajid Javid said that both oral treatments “may shorten recovery time and stop the progression of the infection.”

So far, data on drug efficacy have focused on therapeutic use in people who already have Covid-19, but research into its use as a preventative measure is currently underway.

Ben Osborn, Country Manager at Pfizer UK, said:

“Therefore, oral treatment options can be an important tool to help address the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

When will treatment be available?

Both treatments are currently awaiting approval from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

If this is approved, Molnupiravir will be available by mid-November and Pfizer may be deployed in mid-January 2022.

Drugs may be given to people at highest risk for Covid-19 to reduce the severity of symptoms and relieve pressure on the NHS during the winter.

The government and NHS are currently working on a treatment deployment plan that includes a national survey to understand the potential benefits of antiviral drugs for vaccinated patients.

It is not clear how the treatment will be deployed, but it is understood that it may be available from pharmacies.

Eddie Gray, Chairman of the Government’s Antiviral Task Force, welcomed the deal as a “very important development” in the fight to treat those exposed to Covid-19 and was Deputy Chief Medical Officer in the United Kingdom. One professor, Jonathan Van-Tham, said that antivirals are “another important intervention on the table.”

He states: “They are especially important in protecting people who may not have an antibody response to the same vaccine as the majority of the population.

“We are now working swiftly to get these treatments as soon as possible if the appropriate cohort of people is approved by MHRA.”

Two new Covid antivirals secured to protect the most endangered this winter

Source link Two new Covid antivirals secured to protect the most endangered this winter

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