Cofepris authorizes Paxlovid, Pfizer’s anti-Covid medicine

The Federal Commission against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) authorized Paxlovid, the anti-Covid-19 treatment from the Pfizer laboratory.

The medication in tablets reduces the rate of hospitalization and mortality by up to 88% due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. And it will be used to care for adult patients with mild or moderate Covid-19 and at risk of complications.

The authorization is given while Mexico is experiencing its fourth wave of infections. The country registered 44,293 new cases in one day, figures above the highest peak of the third wave. However, the number of deaths remains stable with 195, according to the latest update from the Ministry of Health.

The increase in cases is increasing, “we cannot hide that in terms of the number of Covid cases, many of them, most of them from the Omicron variant that is transmitted more quickly or more easily, there is a whole government strategy federal government,” said Adán Augusto López Hernández, Secretary of the Interior.

The authorization for emergency use is issued in a controlled manner and requires a medical prescription, Cofepris detailed in its statement.

Paxlovid is a treatment that combines nirmatrelvir and ritonavir in tablet form. The first component, nirmatrelvir, inhibits a SARS-CoV-2 protein, preventing the virus from replicating; while the second, ritonavir, slows the breakdown of the drug to help it stay in the body longer.

Pfizer’s anti-Covid-19 pill: Paxlovid

Pfizer’s treatment, called Paxlovid, consists of two pills daily taken for five days.

A clinical trial among 2,200 people showed, according to the company, that it is safe and that it reduces the risk of hospitalizations and deaths among people at risk by 88%.

Pfizer’s treatment had previously been authorized in the European Union. The United States has already paid for 10 million treatments for nearly $5.3 billion.

The authorization comes at a time when coronavirus cases are increasing in Mexico, driven by the Omicron variant, the most infectious seen to date.

The highly mutated variant is better able to evade immunity conferred by a previous infection and health authorities are urging the public to be boosted with messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines to achieve a higher degree of protection.

pfizer covid-19 treatment

How does the new treatment work?

Unlike vaccines, anticovid pill it does not target the coronavirus’s ever-evolving spike protein used to invade cells.

Authorization is still awaited for another anti-sickness pill developed by pharmaceutical company Merck, which is also taken for five days.

Independent experts narrowly voted in favor of the treatment, but raised concerns about its safety, including potential harm to the fetuses of pregnant women and possible damage to the DNA strand.

The two treatments work in different ways within the body, and the Pfizer pill is not believed to carry the same level of risks.

Great Britain and Denmark have already given the green light to the treatment made by Merck.

For its part, Pfizer Mexico celebrates the health approval for emergency use of Pfizer’s oral antiviral treatment against Covid-19 (Paxlovid)

“We extend our congratulations to Cofepris, the Ministry of Health and the Mexican government, in addition to recognizing the work of the National Committee for Science, Technology and Innovation in Public Health of the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT), and the Molecules Committee News from Cofepris for Mexico being the first country in Latin America to approve this drug,” they said in a statement.

The pharmaceutical company assured that this approval is a great step forward in the face of the pandemic and a timely action to help protect Mexicans.

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