Sep 22, 2022 - Health

New analysis supports Paxlovid use

A hand wearing a medical glove handles boxes of Paxlovid.
Photo: Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Here's one more data point to consider in the back-and-forth about Pfizer's antiviral pill Paxlovid: A new analysis found it can meaningfully reduce COVID hospitalizations and deaths, even in those younger than 65.

Why it matters: Paxlovid use surged over the summer as a tool to battle COVID, but it's also faced concerns about contributing to COVID rebound, in which patients test positive or have symptoms days after a course of the drug is completed.

  • One of the latest studies, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, concluded that while the drug significantly benefited patients 65 and older, there was no evidence of benefit in younger adults.

The details: This analysis, by the research arm of electronic health record company Epic, looked at data from more than half a million patients diagnosed with COVID-19 between March and August.

  • It found patients who received Paxlovid were two times less likely to be hospitalized for COVID and four times less likely to die of the virus than those who didn't.
  • Fully vaccinated patients over the age of 50 who received the treatment were about three times less likely to be hospitalized for COVID than those who didn't.
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