UK Regulator Approves Oral COVID-19 Medication Paxlovid
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United Kingdom Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced on Friday that the new oral treatment Paxlovid has been authorised for people with mild to moderate COVID-19 to reduce the risk of developing severe disease.
"We now have a further antiviral medicine for the treatment of COVID-19 that can be taken by mouth rather than administered intravenously. This means it can be administered outside a hospital setting before COVID-19 has progressed to a severe stage", MHRA Chief Executive June Raine said in a press statement, adding that this treatment can be life-saving for those vulnerable to COVID-19.
According to the statement, the medicine effects through inhibiting the protease necessary for viral replication, which prevents the virus from multiplying, keeping the viral load low and helping the body to cope with infection.
The MHRA authorised Paxlovid for use in adults 18 years and older who have mild to moderate COVID-19 infection and at least one risk factor for developing severe illness such as obesity, age over 60, diabetes mellitus, or heart disease.
In addition, the MHRA recommended starting the antiviral medication as soon as possible, within five days after the onset of symptoms to ensure maximum treatment efficiency.
The statement added that the impact of the novel coronavirus strain Omicron on the Paxlovid effectiveness
is yet unknown, however, the MHRA will continue to collaborate with Pfizer to conduct further research.
Paxlovid (PF-07321332 and ritonavir), an oral antiviral medication developed by the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer, had proven to lower the risk of hospitalisation or death by 89% in non-hospitalised high-risk adults with COVID-19, according to Pfizer’s trial results published in early November.