Center is Likely To Approve a New Oral Antiviral Medication for the Treatment of Covid


Umesh Isalkar    25 January 2023

On Tuesday, the Union health ministry revealed that an oral antiviral drug, namely the nirmatrelvir-ritonavir combination, will be included in the upcoming COVID treatment protocol for patients with mild to moderate disease, especially for those who are at high risk of developing severe illness.


The combo medication, commonly referred to by its brand name, Paxlovid, is currently in high demand in China and a few other countries struggling to deal with the Covid rise. The next COVID treatment protocol for India is anticipated to be made public in a week.


In its most recent Therapeutics and COVID-19—Living Guidelines, which were published on January 13, 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) gave the medication a solid endorsement. According to the agency, the medication has shown great promise in numerous trials conducted in both vaccinated and unvaccinated people around the world over the last two years.


Dr. Anita Mathew, a specialist in infectious diseases located in Mumbai, stated that Nirmatrelvir-ritonavir (Paxlovid) has shown good clinical benefit in patients with a high risk of developing a severe condition. However, the drug interacts strongly with a few other drugs and should only be taken on a doctors advice.


Member of the National COVID Task Force from Maharashtra, Dr. Rahul Pandit, remarked that the medication is unquestionably efficient. However, it should only be given to people who are at high risk of developing serious illnesses. Additionally, since the medicine hasnt been primarily researched in the Indian subpopulation, it needs to be evaluated for how it affects Indian patients.


Meanwhile, several experts have noted that although the chance of developing a serious illness is extremely low in a population that has received all recommended vaccinations, it is necessary to understand the drugs absolute benefit in a case where there is a surge in the population. 

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