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Brazil authorizes Covid-19 drug for sale in local pharmacies

Brazil authorizes Covid-19 drug for sale in local pharmacies

Brasilia, Nov 21 (Prensa Latina) Brazil´s National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) on Monday authorized the sale of Paxlovid drug, used to treat Covid-19, in nationwide pharmacies.

Such approval was decided unanimously by ANVISA’s board of directors. Paxlovid sale in drugstores must be made under medical prescription and by pharmacist´s recommendation to the patient on proper use of this medicine.

According to ANVISA, Brazil´s authorization also provided manufacturer must keep and prioritize Paxlovid supply for the ¨Unified Health System¨ program.

Antiviral drugs, such as Paxlovid (manufactured by the U.S. lab Pfizer), use different mechanisms to slow down virus actions. Some have properties that prevent microorganisms from invading human cells, a pivotal part of the infection process. Others act directly on the genetic information of the virus, weakening viral replication.

The ultimate goal of this type of drug is to preserve the organism and prevent the evolution and worsening of the disease. For this to happen, they must be administered even in the initial phase of the infection, preferably between the first and fifth day of the onset of symptoms.

Paxlovid use was highly recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for patients with mild and moderate Covid-19 cases who present a higher risk of being hospitalized.

Paxlovid had its emergency use endorsed in Brazil on March 30. It has been passed in the United States, by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); in Europe by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), in Canada, China, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and Mexico.

According to Meiruze Freitas, ANVISA’s Report Director, Paxlovid sale in private market will increase the access to treatment against coronavirus, but it replaces no vaccination which “continues to be the best strategy to prevent Covid-19, hospitalizations and deaths”.

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