How much does Paxlovid cost?
In the US, a five day course costs $529 (£410; €490), according to the independent US non-profit Institute for Clinical and Economic Review.24 It estimated that this equated to $21 000 per hospital admission averted in that country.
What’s the potential for this drug?
Paxlovid should be used “as part of a comprehensive strategy for vaccination, testing, and rapid treatment for patients at higher risk of progressing to more serious covid-19,” Steve Pearson, president of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, told The BMJ. “The key feature of the oral treatments is that they may help make administration of rapid treatment more feasible across different types of healthcare settings,” he added. Like any antimicrobial drug, including antibiotics, relying too heavily on Paxlovid increases the chances that SARS-CoV-2 will evolve to become resistant. WHO’s spokesperson agreed, saying, “Prevention is better than cure. Even if proved safe and effective, antiviral drugs will not be alternatives to vaccines.”