Britain’s health ministry announced Tuesday that it will expand access to Pfizer’s PFE.N oral antiviral COVID-19 therapy to thousands more individuals by enrolling them in a trial evaluating the drug’s optimal usage in its highly vaccinated population.
People with weakened immune systems in the United Kingdom can now use Paxlovid, which combines Pfizer’s new tablet with an older antiviral drug (ritonavir).
Panoramic, an English trial that provides antivirals to a large number of patients while also gathering data on how the medications should be administered in a vaccinated adult population, has now included Paxlovid.
Paxlovid reduced the relative risk of mortality or hospitalisation in high-risk persons given the medication for five days by nearly 90% in clinical studies.
Although it is currently recommended to be used in the early phases of COVID (a study for hospitalised patients was introduced last month), it has just been included to another trial.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has referenced antivirals as part of his strategy to learn to live with COVID-19, stating they can reduce fatalities among individuals who do not gain as much from vaccination protection, such as those with compromised immune systems.
“As we learn to live with COVID, the UK continues to lead the way in using cutting-edge treatments which have already saved the lives of many of the country’s most vulnerable patients,” health minister Sajid Javid said in a statement.
If you are over the age of 50, or if you have underlying health issues that may increase your risk of severe COVID, you are eligible to participate in the Panoramic trial.
Molnupiravir, a tablet developed by Merck & Co. and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics that didn’t perform as well in its pivotal clinical study, is the second antiviral to be added to the trial after paxlovid.
20,000 individuals have signed up for the Panoramic research to gather data on molnupiravir, and an additional 17,500 people will be enlisted to have access to Paxlovid, according to the health ministry.
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