WASHINGTON, April 26 – U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration aims to increase access to COVID-19 oral antiviral treatment such as Pfizer Inc’s (PFE.N) Paxlovid by doubling the number of available locations, the White House said. on Tuesday.
Pharmacists participating in the state pharmacy program to distribute antiviral drugs will be able to order free treatment directly from the U.S. government. from this week.
Currently, pharmacies rely on the provinces to get the pills. The government sends these treatments to selected pharmacies, as well as to districts and community centers. Under the current system, treatments are available in about 20,000 locations.
Managers expect to increase their direct distribution to more than 30,000 locations soon and reach 40,000 sites in the coming weeks, the White House said.
“Remedies are the next phase of the epidemic, where we have to develop treatments, which are very effective, widely available,” said Drs. Ashish Jha, response coordinator at White House COVID-19, in an interview with CNN.
The need for Paxlovid has been unexpectedly simplified due to the complex requirements of fitness, reduced COVID testing, and the ability to interact with drugs.
Paxlovid was expected to be a major tool in the fight against COVID after reducing hospitalization or mortality of high-risk patients by about 90% in clinical trials.
There are only a few proven antiviral drugs. Other Merck & Co’s (MRK.N) pills are a less active competitor of molnupiravir, as well as Gilead Sciences Inc’s (GILD.O) intravenous remdesivir.
The United States has agreed to buy up to 20 million pills at a cost of $ 530 per study and Pfizer is busy producing the 3.5 million lessons set for use in the US by the end of April.
For the first half of April, US data shows that it has distributed nearly 1.5 million studies and that more than 500,000 pharmacies are still available.
The government is also planning to roll out state-sponsored testing facilities as part of its “Medical Testing” program that allows Americans to get tested for COVID-19 at a pharmacy and get free pills if they are found to have it.
There are currently 2,200 such sites and the White House expects another 10,000 to come online immediately.
Managers also aim to increase patient awareness and providers of public education campaigns.