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U.S. FDA approves Pfizer's COVID-19 pill for prescribing

Pfizer Inc.'s COVID-19 pill can now be prescribed by state-licensed pharmacists, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

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

“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.

Recently, however, infection rates have increased, leading to an increased use of the pill, authorized to prevent severe illness in newly infected, at-risk people.

Prescription decisions should be made by doctors whenever possible, the American Medical Association said in a statement.

“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.

8 July 2022


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