“This should be a really joyous time because we now have highly effective antiviral pills,” said Erin McCreary, a pharmacist and administrator at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “Instead, this feels like the hardest and most chaotic stretch of the pandemic.”
The pills — and other COVID-19 drugs, for that matter — are being carefully rationed, reserved for the highest-risk patients.
“January is going to be a terrible month with a million cases a day,” said University of North Carolina virologist Dr. Myron Cohen. “Most people will do perfectly well, but we have to select out the people who won’t and give them the drugs we have available.”
The Food and Drug Administration authorized the two pills from Pfizer and Merck late last month based on studies showing they cut the risk of severe disease and death when given shortly after symptoms appear. They are the first COVID-19 treatments patients can take at home, and thus could reduce the burden on hospitals.
The U.S. didn’t make the kind of mass purchases in advance that it did with vaccines.
Pfizer’s pill, Paxlovid, is considered far superior to Merck’s, but because of the six to eight months it takes to manufacture, the company says it can supply only about 250,000 courses of the treatment by the end of this month.
The U.S. has ordered enough Paxlovid to treat 20 million people, but the first 10 million orders won’t be delivered until June.
Comment: OK. Why did the US not order therapeutics on the scale that it ordered vaccines? Simple, Fauci and his acolytes “guided” Biden to that decision because Fauci, and they, are Vaccine People. They have always been and continue to be.
This is the same Fauci who mocked a US Senator (also a physician) who wants to see the redacted pages of Fauci’s annual financial statement. This is a public document, but Fauci has managed to make it “unpublic.” Senator Marshall wants to see what has been concealed in the way of sources of Fauci’s income. pl