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Back-up Covid-19 drug used after antiviral hits expiry date

Stocks of an antiviral drug in the island’s medical arsenal against Covid-19 have run out — but Bermuda has recourse to an alternative oral medicine against the virus.

Paxlovid, developed by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer against Covid-19, was provided to the island early in 2023 by the British Government through the Department of Health and Social Care and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Supplies have hit their end-of-use deadline, but Molnupiravir, an antiviral produced by the drug company MSD, remains in stock.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health said this week: “The Ministry of Health has been working with colleagues in the UK to ensure that antivirals are available in Bermuda.”

She said the present stock of Paxlovid had expired at the end of June.

“An alternative medication, Molnupiravir, continues to be available.

“The Ministry of Health through the Office of the CMO, is working to have Paxlovid available for use in the shortest time possible.”

Paxlovid has been favoured for use in mild to moderate cases of the illness affecting unvaccinated, high-risk patients.

Clinical trials have shown the drug to be more effective against the virus than Molnupiravir, but the latter drug has shown success for patients deemed to be at risk from Covid-19.

It comes to a heightened rate of Covid-19 infection in Bermuda, as reported last month, with restriction imposed in parts of the hospital as well as in several group homes across the island.

The Ministry of Health no longer directly monitors Covid-19 with the easing of emergency conditions. Self-testing, typically using rapid antigen tests, predominates in Bermuda.

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Published July 06, 2024 at 7:59 am (Updated July 06, 2024 at 8:05 am)

Back-up Covid-19 drug used after antiviral hits expiry date

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