Pfizer Paxlovid prescriptions to treat Covid increased tenfold in U.S. since late February

Pfizer on Tuesday stated prescriptions for its oral antiviral to deal with Covid-19 have elevated tenfold within the U.S. since late February, as extra pharmacies and different places obtain provide.

CEO Albert Bourla, in an earnings name Tuesday morning, stated practically 80,000 sufferers had been handled with Paxlovid within the U.S. the week ending April 22, up from about 8,000 sufferers in late February. Greater than 33,000 websites within the U.S. now have provide of Paxlovid, Bourla stated, a fourfold improve over February.

Shares of Pfizer had been up over 1% in Tuesday afternoon buying and selling.

Paxlovid provide was constrained when the antiviral first rolled out over the winter, however Pfizer is ramping up manufacturing with 6 million programs produced by the top of March, in keeping with Bourla. Pfizer is on monitor to fabricate 30 million programs within the first half of 2022 and 120 million by the top of the yr, Bourla stated.

Pfizer on Tuesday reported $1.5 billion in Paxlovid gross sales for the primary quarter and maintained its steerage of $22 billion in gross sales for 2022. Angela Hwang, Pfizer’s head of biopharmaceuticals, advised analysts Tuesday that demand for the antiviral will improve as nations reorder doses and decrease the eligibility age.

Covid transmission will improve as governments ease public well being restrictions, and Paxlovid will play an necessary position in treating individuals who get contaminated, Hwang stated. Pfizer does not have any stock readily available as a result of each dose manufactured will get shipped, she stated.

The U.S. has ordered a complete of 20 million Paxlovid programs, with the supply of the primary 10 million programs to be accomplished in June and achievement of the second 10 million scheduled for September, in keeping with the Biden administration. Sufferers within the U.S. had used greater than 500,000 Paxlovid programs as of late April, a senior administration official advised reporters final month.

The White Home is ramping up distribution of Paxlovid as a key part of its technique to struggle Covid. The Well being and Human Providers Division goals to deliver the antiviral to 40,000 places throughout the nation. The U.S. has arrange at the very least 2,200 websites the place individuals can obtain Paxlovid as quickly as they take a look at constructive for the virus, together with pharmacies, group well being facilities and long-term care amenities.

The Meals and Drug Administration approved Paxlovid in December for adults and kids ages 12 and older who’re contaminated with Covid and prone to extreme sickness from the virus. The FDA approved Merck’s molnupiravir shortly after, however stated it ought to solely be used for adults ages 18 and over who do not have entry to Paxlovid or different Covid therapies.

Paxlovid proved simpler and had a greater security profile than molnupiravir in scientific trials. Pfizer’s antiviral diminished the danger of hospitalization or dying by 90% in adults who had Covid and had been prone to creating extreme sickness. Molnupiravir diminished the danger of hospitalization and dying by 30% in scientific trials amongst Covid sufferers prone to extreme sickness.

Paxlovid now has a 90% market share in comparison with Merck’s molnupiravir within the U.S. retail pharmacy, long-term care and mail order markets, Bourla stated. The antiviral is now approved in additional than 60 nations, and Pfizer is in discussions to deliver the remedy to extra markets, he stated.

Sufferers prescribed Paxlovid take a 3 pill course twice every day for 5 days. The course contains two nirmatrelvir tablets developed by Pfizer, and one pill of ritonavir, a broadly used HIV drug. Nirmatrelvir inhibits an enzyme the Covid virus makes use of to breed, and ritonavir slows the affected person’s metabolism so the medicine stays energetic within the physique for an extended interval.

Whereas Paxlovid is efficient at stopping hospitalization and dying in individuals who have already got Covid, it failed to stop an infection from the virus in scientific trial outcomes printed Friday.

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