According to the NHS, around 30,000 patients with Covid-19 in England have been treated with antiviral drugs that have improved their symptoms within hours. The health service said it had purchased nearly five million doses of baxlovid and other “newer” antiviral drugs, including molnopiravir, as part of a recent government deal.
Baxlovid, developed by Pfizer, was approved for use in the UK in December and has been found in studies reducing hospital admissions and deaths by 88%. According to the NHS, more than 5,000 patients in England have already received Paxlovid, with more than 1,200 patients taking it just last week.
Molnupiravir, which clinical studies suggest reduces the risk of hospitalization or death by 30%, was approved in November 2021. In December, the drug was given to out-of-hospital patients.
Patients at risk praised the treatment as “excellent”. When university professor Katie Marie, who has rheumatoid arthritis, fell seriously ill with Covid, the Royal Derby Hospital Clinic sent a taxi with Baxlovid to her home in Fieldfield, near Derby, within hours.
The 49-year-old professor of stem cell biology at the University of Nottingham said he felt more normal four days after starting treatment and was scared to think how bad he would feel without it. Prof Marie said: “The availability of these treatments is simply excellent and we are very fortunate to have them available for free on the NHS.
The hospital staff has always been excellent, but they are effectively dealt with very well. I have lived in the US and we are very fortunate to have the NHS and the excellent care they give us all. “
His advisor, Dr. Francis Kinston Pearson, said the new drug gave him “great hope”. He said: “Healthcare professionals and patients alike agree on the impact of Covid-19 and how it has changed our lives.
This is especially true for patients like Katie, who are more at risk because their immune system is weaker due to their condition or the treatment used to treat them. It gives me great hope of seeing new treatments like Paxlovid being introduced to support these at-risk patients so they can resume their normal lives. “The pandemic may not be over yet, but with a similar development, I hope we can look forward to enjoying life as we did before the pandemic.”
The treatment prevents the virus from reproducing in cells, which helps patients fight infection and recover faster. It is used under government guidelines to treat people with Covid who are at risk of becoming seriously ill or hospitalized.
However, it is prescribed by doctors in any case. Professor Stephen Bowes, NHS National Medical Director, said: “It is remarkable that just a month before the last antiviral treatment, Paxlovid, thousands of our most vulnerable patients had already received this last life-saving treatment.
Antivirals are another tool in our arsenal to reduce hospitalizations and deaths in patients at high risk of developing severe illness with Covid-19 who need hospital treatment. Each person treated with new medicines is a testament to how the NHS is doing everything it can to protect those most at risk. “
Yesterday (Friday, April 8) free lateral flow tests were done for most members of the community, except for those over the age of 75 and those with compromised immune systems over the age of 12. But the NHS said people who took paxlovid would be sent tests to stay At home if symptoms appear.