BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Maryland is distributing 4,500 FDA-approved prescription drugs to help patients at high risk for COVID-19 avoid serious illness, the state Department of Health announced Friday.
Paxlovid, Pfizer’s antiviral, and Merck’s antiviral drug Molnupiravir, were recently approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for patients with risk factors. serious illness caused by COVID-19.
The drugs began arriving in pharmacies on Thursday, and the state said it is working with clinics, pharmacies and long-term care facilities to distribute the drugs statewide over the next two weeks.
While vaccines, boosters and testing are considered the best protection against COVID-19, Maryland Health Secretary Dennis Schrader said, the drugs are, said Maryland Health Secretary Dennis Schrader. This provides a potentially lifesaving tool for those infected.
“If any of the Marylander test results are positive for COVID-19, they should immediately speak to Health care providers to see if Paxlovid or Molnupiravir is right for them,” he said.
Doctors across the state can prescribe medications and direct patients to pharmacies that have them in stock. Patients must consult their doctor to see if a treatment is right for them before being prescribed.
“It is important for people at risk of serious illness to be screened or tested at home at the first sign of symptoms – whether they have been vaccinated or not – so that they can receive get the best treatment,” said the Deputy Secretary Health Service, Dr. Jinlene Chan. “These treatments need to be started within days of the onset of symptoms to be effective.”
The state is expected to receive more rounds of treatment starting in January.
https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2021/12/31/maryland-begins-offering-fda-authorized-pills-to-treat-covid-19/ Maryland Begins Supplying FDA-Approved Drugs to Treat COVID-19 – CBS Baltimore