The Ministry of Health approved, last Friday (6), the use of the first drug for mild and moderate cases of covid-19. Developed by US pharmaceutical Pfizer, the antiviral Paxlovid should reach the Unified Health System (SUS) within 180 days.
The Pfizer pill is made up of two antivirals: nirmatrelvir and ritonavir. In Brazil, the formula against covid-19 was approved by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) at the end of March. In addition, it is used in more than 10 other countries.
Who can use the medication against covid?
“This is the first treatment included in the Unified Health System (SUS) for the treatment of patients with mild to moderate symptoms of Covid-19 and a high risk of complications”, explains the Ministry of Health, in a statement.
Through clinical studies — with human volunteers — it was possible to observe that the medication helps to reduce the progression of the disease to severe conditions. Thus, Health informs that “the drug will be offered to immunocompromised adult patients or patients aged 65 or over”.
In addition, the treatment can only be used in case of a positive test for covid-19 and within five days after the onset of symptoms.
When does the medicine arrive?
Despite the approval, the Pfizer drug should not reach the SUS immediately and this process can still take up to six months. “Pasta has 180 days after publication of the incorporation to make the technology available on the public network”, comments Saúde.
It is worth remembering that, last month, Saúde also incorporated the drug baricitinib for severe cases of covid-19. The anti-inflammatory was developed by US pharmaceutical Eli Lilly and is still in the incorporation phase.
How does Pfizer’s medicine work?
The Paxlovid remedy is made up of the combination of two antivirals. In the formula, nirmatrelvir is known to inhibit an important enzyme of SARS-CoV-2 and, with that, prevents the virus from proliferating. Now, ritonavir prevents the action of an enzyme that breaks down nirmatrelvir. This helps nirmatrelvir to stay in the bloodstream longer, which enhances its action.
Source: Ministry of Health