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Study finds life-saving COVID-19 treatments didn’t make it to US patients recently infected

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Photo by: Fabian Sommer/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
01 March 2022, Berlin: A person holds the drug Paxlovid against Covid-19 from the manufacturer Pfizer.

Paxlovid and Molnupiravir, two leading COVID-19 antiviral medications, are life-saving drugs that have been shown to reduce deaths, in Paxlovid’s case, by a factor of 10 in the most severe cases.

However, according to new research published Wednesday by the COVID States Project, the two treatments have been vastly underutilized in the U.S., renewing concerns about the extent to which the federal government’s oft-criticized COVID-19 response contributed to preventable deaths from the disease.

The research is based on a nationwide survey that was conducted between June 8 and July 6 involving 24,414 respondents. Of them, 43% said they had been infected with COVID-19 recently; and of those who were sick between May and early July, only 11% reported having taken the antivirals, the data shows. The antiviral drugs are typically used at the onset of symptoms to blunt the progression of disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

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