Complicated rollout renders revolutionary Covid-19 pills hard to get for many patients: report

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When UFC president Dana White told reporters last week that it’s easier to obtain pain pills than it is to obtain valid non-vaccine COVID treatments like monoclonal antibodies and antiviral pills, some bashed him. Yet according to a new Politico report out Sunday, it seems he was right.

“Antiviral Covid-19 pills were billed as game-changers for the way they could provide a convenient way to treat infections at home and keep people out of the hospital. But that assumed patients could get the drugs quickly,” according to Politico.

“Instead, a flurry of regulatory, testing and logistical issues is complicating the rollout, potentially requiring people with symptoms to make multiple stops at doctors’ offices or testing sites within the five-day window when the drugs are recommended.”

How bad is it? Alaska chief medical officer Anne Zink said that getting hold of other treatment options is like “sending you on a goose chase to try and find these meds.”

She’s not the only one who’s made this point:

Notice what the second Twitter user said about Florida.

Continuing her remarks to Politico, Zink added, “That may mean three entries in and out of places, and that’s assuming all three of those go well.”

By three, she meant a testing center, a doctor’s office and the pharmacist.

“The pills’ emergency use authorizations are written so that prescribing power is limited to doctors and certain health care workers often found in a physician’s practice,” Politico explains.

“That could create an access merry-go-round where patients may need to visit a testing site, a doctor’s office and then a participating pharmacy just to get the drugs.”

Now flash-back to last week, when White pointed out during a press conference that obtaining alternate treatments has been a nightmarish chore.

Listen

“Ivermectin and monoclonal antibodies have been around for a long time. Now, all of a sudden, you can’t dig them up to save your life. … You can’t get those things to save your life now. Literally,” he said.

His remarks prompted a reporter into asking, “Are you a doctor?”

“No, but I took them and they both worked for me so why shouldn’t I be able to take them again? … You want to know what’s scary? Bet I could get some fu–ing pain pills quicker than I could get monoclonal antibodies. No, not maybe, that’s a fact. That’s a fact. They fu–ing hand out pain pills like they’re Tic Tacs,” White responded.

It appears he had a point, though the point was dismissed/mocked at the time:

A large part of the problem is that the Biden administration refuses to authorize pharmacists to prescribe/administer anything save for the coronavirus vaccine.

“Pharmacists say their omission from that list ignores the work they already put into testing and advising Covid patients and what they’re doing to educate both consumers and doctors about how the pills may interact with other prescriptions or supplements they take, as well as how to take the multi-day courses,” according to Politico.

This is especially problematic since it’s pharmacists — not physicians — who’ve acquired the most experience dealing with such issues. According to Kurt Proctor of National Community Pharmacists Association, this means pharmacists are having to educate said physicians.

“You’ve got a lot of physicians who don’t know these drugs yet, don’t know how to prescribe them, and so pharmacists are spending a lot of time educating the physicians on it,” he said to Politico.

There are also logistical issues at play.

“In coastal Virginia, Sterling Ransone, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, said the closest retail pharmacy with Covid antivirals on hand is an hour away from his hometown — a barrier for Covid patients who are older, unable to drive or can’t afford to take that long of a trip,” according to Politico.

“A monoclonal antibody infusion center is located about half an hour away, Ransone said, but the only treatments available were the two that don’t work against Omicron.”

Joshua Barocas, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, has suggested the federal government should intervene to “help ensure treatments get steered toward vulnerable populations,” as reported by Politico.

But that would require the federal government — i.e., the far-left Biden administration — to stop obsessing over vaccines and start thinking outside the box.

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Vivek Saxena

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