In total, 280 antiviral treatments against Covid were dispensed in pharmacies. These are the data that emerge from the tenth monitoring conducted by the Italian Medicines Agency (Aifa) on antivirals updated on May 3 and which, for the first time, also takes into account those purchased by the ASL and dispensed on behalf of (Dpc). It has been a little over two weeks that the general practitioner has been able to prescribe the oral antiviral Paxlovid which can be collected by the patient directly at the pharmacy. Of the total number 90 are in Tuscany, 75 in Umbria, 58 in Lazio, 30 in Marche, 10 in Piedmont, 7 in Campania, 5 in Emilia Romagna and 3 in Calabria, Molise and Pa Trento.
37,300 patients treated at home with antivirals
From mid-January to 4 May, 37,315 Covid patients were treated at home with antiviral pills for the early treatment of Covid in people at risk. Treatments initiated with Lagevrio of Merck / Msd (molnupiravir, available as of 13 January 2022) were 24,779, while those for Paxlovid of Pfizer (nirmatrelvir-ritonavir) amounted to 12,536 (including 280 with the drug dispensed in the pharmacy). In particular, during the period, the drug requests for molnupiravir were 1,745, equal to -21.8% compared to the previous week. For Paxlovid, on the other hand, there are 1,267 prescriptions, equal to -17.99% compared to the previous 7 days.
How is it going on the territory
So far Lagevrio has been prescribed in a total of 278 facilities scattered throughout the various regions and autonomous provinces, while Paxlovid in 250. The highest number of treatments started with molnupiravir, since the start of monitoring, was in Lazio (3,644), followed by Puglia (2,575) and Tuscany (2101), while the other regions are under two thousand patients treated. For Paxlovid, Veneto is at the top, with 1,748 treatments started, followed by Tuscany (1,553) and Lombardy (1,394). Finally, as regards the antiviral remdesivir, not administered orally but by infusion, there have been 9,020 treatments initiated to date for non-hospitalized patients and 91,001 for hospitalized patients.
The news of the memorandum of understanding
Since 21 April, the green light has also been given in the approximately 19 thousand pharmacies in the area, for the distribution, upon presentation of a prescription from the family doctor, of the antiviral pill. The novelty introduced by a decision of the AIFA is aimed at making therapies more accessible, avoiding access eminently through the hospital. Paxlovid is indicated for the treatment of Covid in people aged 18 and over who do not require supplemental oxygen therapy and who are at high risk of progression to severe Covid-19 but should be taken no later than 5 days after the onset of symptoms ” . It was prescribed, up to now in Italy, for the treatment of mild-moderate Covid-19 in subjects at risk and not hospitalized only by Covid centers, which enter the patients treated in a monitoring register. Now the prescription can also be made by the general practitioner, on an electronic prescription and after completing the Aifa therapeutic plan. Once the prescription is obtained, the medicine is provided free of charge to the patient based on the memorandum of understanding signed between the Ministry of Health, Aifa, Federfarma Servizi, Federfarma, Assofarm, United Pharmacies and Adf.
More use is useful (even monoclonals)
An appeal to use more of the drugs we have available against Covid was formulated by Guido Rasi, former executive director of the European drug agency Ema and advisor to General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, the last commissioner for the coronavirus emergency. Starting with monoclonal antibodies, considering that “they are drugs we have already bought” and “it would be absurd to let them expire in the fridge”. But Paxlovid antiviral should also be used more. «Because in 80% of cases, if administered within five days of positivization – recalls the expert – it ensures that the symptoms do not worsen. In the last week they have seen that there has been a 35% increase in prescriptions. Now 12,000 patients have received it. Still a few, but the signal is there. Evidently the family doctors, not very accustomed to using complex drugs like this one, initially resisted a bit. But 20 minutes of training aimed at the interactions to be avoided with other therapies would be enough to solve the problem “.