"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Government reduces stocks of Paxlovid and returns hundreds of thousands of doses

October 17, 2023 – The U.S. government has returned hundreds of thousands of doses of the COVID-19 antiviral drug Paxlovid to its manufacturer.

The move is widely expected to extend the worth of the treatment, but the federal government and Pfizer have agreed on measures to scale back out-of-pocket costs by 2028. The government's price per treatment cycle was $530, one analyst said CNN that the worth could rise to as much as $2,500 on the private market. The result will be an extra payment for individuals who have private insurance.

The return is $4.2 billion, Pfizer saidalthough no money will change hands within the deal, because the drugmaker will as a substitute provide Paxlovid without spending a dime through 2024 to individuals with Medicaid, Medicare or those that are uninsured. Pfizer may even offer a copay assistance program in 2028, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced. The latest plan, which is able to take effect in November, also calls for a federal stockpile of enough paxlovid to treat 1 million people “to ensure preparedness for future COVID-19 surges,” the HHS statement said.

Paxlovid is an antiviral treatment that stops the virus that causes COVID from replicating and infecting healthy cells. A big study of unvaccinated adults who took paxlovid inside 5 days of symptom onset showed that the treatment significantly reduced the chance of hospitalization or death from COVID, in accordance with a federal agency Summary.

Treatment is currently recommended for individuals with COVID who're at high risk of developing a severe course of the disease, e.g. B. People aged 50 and over; are unvaccinated or haven't received a booster vaccination; or suffer from certain medical conditions equivalent to asthma or cancer, or have certain lifestyle habits equivalent to smoking.

A brand new CDC evaluation presented at IDWeek conference A study in Boston last week showed that high-risk adults who were 50 or older were less prone to get long-COVID in the event that they took paxlovid, in comparison with high-risk older individuals who didn't take the drug. The study compared the chance of post-COVID illness between people aged 12 and older who took paxlovid and those that didn't take it. All individuals were at high risk for severe COVID cases and were treated between April and August 2022.

While Paxlovid appears to offer long-term protection for older people, children ages 12 to 17 who took Paxlovid had a rather increased risk of post-COVID illnesses, including hypertension, asthma and sort 2 diabetes, in accordance with Medpage Today reported. Paxlovid is approved for pediatric use in people 12 years of age and older who're at high risk of severe illness from COVID.

The study showed that folks aged 18 to 49 had a largely neutral risk of post-COVID illness after taking paxlovid.

“In younger adults and adolescents, associations were only observed for certain diseases. This may be due to a difference in baseline health status in these age groups,” the study authors wrote, noting that further research is required to look at the differences.