So why would these drug companies put such a big push behind the drugs if their effectiveness isn’t all they claim? Reputation, market share – and possibly the ability to sell other drugs once Covid is under control. “The more drugs like this are available in India, China, and sub-Saharan Africa, the more Pfizer can sell all the other drugs it wants to sell,” Ayer says. Hospitals can accommodate patients with cancer or disease for all the other drugs they make. And in terms of reputation, it helps a lot.”
To be clear, none of this means that the drugs have no effect. It is possible, for example, that 89 percent of baxlovids will diminish over time. “If these drugs are going to be used on hospital patients as soon as they appear, 10 days after they are sick, they are not going to have much effect,” says David Polwer, MD, an infectious disease physician at the University of Minnesota. Participate in multiple trials of Covid drugs. For one thing, people must get tested for Covid before getting a prescription. “It’s complicated. It’s hard. In low-income countries, it’s easier to vaccinate people. If you can vaccinate people at high risk, that’s a much better prospect than trying to deal with both diagnosis and treatment.”
Both drugs have complications in terms of actual use as well. Molnupiravir has been in the works for 20 years, and it targets a lot of different diseases. Mills says most virologists have despaired of finding a real use for it — in part because of the mutagenic problems researchers have seen in analyzes and experiments over the years. It is likely not to be used in women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant, for example. recent article in stat He said that Merck’s animal testing of molnopiravir found no problems, and stat Merck’s executive vice president was quoted as telling investors that the company is “confident” in the drug’s safety profile.
Ritonavir, the second ingredient in the Pfizer package, not only inhibits liver activity; It also has known interactions with widely prescribed anticoagulant and anticholesterol drugs. So people taking these may have to change their dose, or stop taking it for five days of the full cycle. It’s not impossible, but it’s not easy either.
All that said, many researchers and public health experts believe the new drugs will help. Even Mills says he thinks it will have an impact, although it’s hard to quantify. And the total absence of deaths in the baxoloid trial would be astonishing, if the pattern continues to accommodate tens of thousands of people. “I am very optimistic here,” says Tulio de Oliveira, director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation Platform at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Merck and Pfizer have issued clear guidance that the price of drugs will be significantly lower in developing countries. Moreover, they are already dealing with a number of local companies producing medicines in the developing world.”
The flip side of big pharma having to justify their giant pre-orders to governments is that those governments may already have seen more data than the companies have publicly released. “They have both experiences. They saw data we didn’t,” Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute says. “They saw beyond the press release and bought, you saw, tens of millions of doses of the two pills.” Vaccine and drug development efforts throughout the pandemic, suggests that the unpublished data look as good as the public figures.