In December 2021, Pfizer announced the significantly positive study results of its COVID-19 antiviral Paxlovid. The study enrolled unvaccinated people at high-risk for serious illness, and it was hailed by infectious disease specialists and President Biden’s administration as a tool for accelerating the end of the pandemic.
“I think it is the beginning of a ‘game-changer,’” said Yale Medicine infectious disease specialist Scott Roberts, M.D. “It’s really our first efficacious oral antiviral pill for this virus. It shows clear benefit, and it really can prevent hospitalization and death in people who are at high risk.”
But there is currently public confusion about who should get a prescription for Paxlovid if they test positive for COVID-19.
To help our colleagues with coverage, we gathered a few resources and experts to call [see Q&A at bottom of this post] and spoke with Professor Jason Gallagher, Pharm.D., F.C.C.P., F.I.D.P., F.I.D.S.A., B.C.P.S., a pharmacist who specializes in infectious diseases and the director of Temple University’s post-graduate infectious disease pharmacy training program.
We wanted to begin by clarifying what Pfizer is studying and what experts understand about the results so far.