The New Roots of Covid Are Here-and They Could Change the Pandemic

Why are these drug companies putting such a huge push behind drugs when their effectiveness is not the only thing they claim? Reputation and market share — and perhaps the ability to sell other drugs once Covid is under control. “If more drugs like this are available in India, China, and sub-Saharan Africa, then Pfizer will be able to sell all the other drugs they want to sell,” Iyer said. “Hospitals can absorb patients who have cancer, or have diseases for all the other drugs they make. And in reputation, it has helped a lot.”

To be clear, this does not mean that the drugs have no side effects. It is likely that, for example, Paxlovid’s 89 percent only decreased over time. “If these medications were only available to hospital patients once they show up, 10 days into their illness, it would have less side effects,” said David Boulware, an infectious disease physician at the University of Minnesota involved. on numerous Covid drug trials. For one thing, people need to be tested for Covid before getting their prescription. “That’s complicated. It’s hard. The lower the income countries, the easier it is to vaccinate people. If you can vaccinate people at risk, that’s a much better hope than trying to deal with diagnostics and treatments. ”

Both drugs have complications in terms of actual use, too. Molnupiravir has been around for 20 years, and it is targeted at many different diseases. Mills said most virologists have lost hope that it has found a real use — in part because of mutagenicity issues that researchers have seen in analyzes and trials over many years. It is unlikely to be used by women who are pregnant or could become pregnant, for example. A new one article on Cerebration says that Merck’s animal test of molnupiravir found no problems, and Cerebration quoted a Merck executive VP as telling investors that the company was “confident” in the drug’s safety profile.

Ritonavir, that second ingredient in Pfizer’s package, not only inhibits liver activity; it also has a well -known interaction with anticoagulant medications and widely prescribed anticholesterol medications. That’s why people who take it have to change their doses, or stop taking it for five days throughout the course. Not impossible, but not easy either.

All that said, many researchers and public health experts believe that new drugs can help. Even Mills says he thinks they have an impact, though it’s hard to say how big. And the total loss of mortality in the Paxlovid test would be surprising, if the pattern had more than tens of thousands of people. “I’m very optimistic here,” said Tulio de Olveira, director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation Sequencing Platform at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. “The companies, Merck and Pfizer, have issued clear instructions that the price of medicines is lower in developing countries. In addition, they have already partnered with a number of local ones. pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in the developing world.

The other part of big pharma companies having to justify their giant pre-orders to governments is that governments may already see more data than companies release to the public. “They had two trials. They saw data that we didn’t have, ”said Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute. “They saw beyond the press release and bought, as you can see, ten million doses of the two pills.” To Topol, which tracks vaccine and drug development efforts throughout the pandemic, suggesting that the unpublished data is as good as the public figures.

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