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U.S. FDA allows pharmacists to prescribe Pfizer's COVID-19 pill

Stock Markets Jul 06, 2022 06:11PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment pill Paxlovid is seen in boxes, at Misericordia hospital in Grosseto, Italy, February 8, 2022. REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini/File Photo

By Manas Mishra and Michael Erman

(Reuters) -The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday it had authorized state-licensed pharmacists to prescribe Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE)'s COVID-19 pill to eligible patients to help improve access to the treatment.

The antiviral drug, Paxlovid, has been cleared for use and available for free in the United States since December, but fewer than half of the nearly 4 million courses distributed to pharmacies by the government so far have been administered.

Use of the pill, authorized to treat newly infected, at-risk people to prevent severe illness, has, however, jumped in recent weeks as infections rise.

"Since Paxlovid must be taken within five days after symptoms begin, authorizing state-licensed pharmacists to prescribe Paxlovid could expand access to timely treatment for some patients," Patrizia Cavazzoni, director for the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.

The agency said patients who tested positive for COVID-19 should bring their health records for the pharmacists to review for kidney and liver problems.

The American Medical Association (AMA) said in a statement prescribing decisions should be made by a doctor wherever possible.

"It (Paxlovid) is not for everyone and prescribing it requires knowledge of a patient's medical history, as well as clinical monitoring for side effects and follow-up care to determine whether a patient is improving," said AMA President Jack Resneck.

The FDA said pharmacists should refer the patients to a healthcare professional licensed to prescribe drugs if there is not sufficient information to assess kidney or liver function, or if modifications are needed due to a potential drug reaction.

Patients with reduced kidney function may need a lower dose of the treatment, the agency has said.

People in socially and economically disadvantaged regions are about half as likely to receive antiviral COVID-19 pills like Paxlovid than those in wealthier zip codes, a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed.

U.S. FDA allows pharmacists to prescribe Pfizer's COVID-19 pill
 

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Comments (3)
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Jul 06, 2022 7:08PM ET
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Can I get some horse de-wormer with that?
Co Gonz
Co Gonz Jul 06, 2022 7:08PM ET
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At least it’s proven to work..
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Jul 06, 2022 7:08PM ET
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Co Gonz Sure. Proven. The way it has been proven that JFK Jr. is still alive, and that Barak Obama was born in Kenya, and chemtrails are for mind control, and Democrats harvest hormones from the blood of frightened children, and 9/11 was a government plot, and the moon landing was fake, and the Denver airport is the secret headquarters of the Illuminati, and Covid 19 vaccines have a tracking chip in them, and, of course, the earth is flat. The standard of proof is nothing for the know-nothing kooks.
A B
A B Jul 06, 2022 7:08PM ET
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This breaks my heart.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Jul 06, 2022 7:08PM ET
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Yes. Science and reason are so distressing.
Me comment
Me comment Jul 06, 2022 4:17PM ET
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And when your done with the 5 days treatment watch out as the symtoms return worse than they originally were.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Jul 06, 2022 4:17PM ET
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You are mostly correct, but there is more. The symptoms are not only worse agterwords, but you are quite likely to grow hooves and shrink to half your previous height.
Roberta Garrett
Roberta Garrett Jul 06, 2022 4:17PM ET
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I've had to take this regimen. my waist shrunk by a few inches, my hair grew in thicker and stronger, and I grew 3.5":)
 
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