Today the Food and Drug Administration approved the first pill proven to effectively treat coronavirus and lessen the severity of infections in adults.
“This authorization provides a new tool to combat COVID-19 at a crucial time in the pandemic as new variants emerge and promises to make antiviral treatment more accessible to patients who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19," said Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research in a press release.
Paxlovid, a drug regimen developed by Pfizer consisting of tablets of the drugs nirmatrelvir and ritonavir (who comes up with these names?), is designed for high-risk patients who have tested positive for the virus. The FDA issued an emergency use authorization for the protocol after a study showed that "Paxlovid significantly reduced the proportion of people with COVID-19 related hospitalization or death from any cause by 88% compared to placebo among patients treated within five days of symptom onset and who did not receive COVID-19 therapeutic monoclonal antibody treatment."
“Today’s authorization of PAXLOVID represents another tremendous example of how science will help us ultimately defeat this pandemic, which, even two years in, continues to disrupt and devastate lives across the world. This breakthrough therapy, which has been shown to significantly reduce hospitalizations and deaths and can be taken at home, will change the way we treat COVID-19, and hopefully help reduce some of the significant pressures facing our healthcare and hospital systems,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in company statement. “Pfizer stands ready to begin delivery in the U.S. immediately to help get PAXLOVID into the hands of appropriate patients as quickly as possible.”
Notably, Paxlovid is not for the prevention of COVID, but rather decreases the severity of symptoms in already-infected people. But with Omicron running riot across the country — and so many goddamn idiots refusing to get vaccinated — it's an important tool to have in the kit.
And speaking of vaccines, the FDA would hasten to remind you that this drug is no substitute for the jab. It is, however, a substitute for Hydroxybonermectin or whatever veterinary medicine those dumbstupids who listen to Joe Rogan are pumping into their bodies. Well, it's not a substitute, in that it actually works for conditions other than scabies or lupus.
So now we move on to the $64,000 question: Will those wankers take it?
If history is any guide, the answer is "no." The GOP has turned every single COVID public health measure into a culture war issue, from masks to social distancing to vaccines. If we're for it, they're agin' it — and that includes both staying alive and not infecting vulnerable people we might come in contact with. It's like living in a zombie movie where half the characters shout "Yew cain't tell us what to do, Commie!" before heading out to bingo with the brain-eaters.
But hope springs eternal, we guess. And today we will just be grateful for scientific breakthroughs and a functional executive branch that is working to keep Americans safe.
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