On Wednesday, a large study was published, which showed that the COVID-19 pill developed by Pfizer does not provide any such benefit to younger adults.
However, the pill does reduce the risk of death and hospitalization in high-risk seniors.
The Israeli study conducted a study that comprised of 109,000 patients and it is likely to raise questions about the use of Paxlovid by the US government.
The COVID-19 pill from Pfizer has become the go-to treatment for coronavirus because it offers at-home convenience.
More than $10 billion has been spent by the Biden administration to purchase the drug and it is being offered at thousands of pharmacies in the US.
According to researchers, people 65 or older do benefit from the Paxlovid pill because it reduces hospitalizations by almost 75% when it is given soon after infection.
This is consistent with results of other studies that were used for authorizing the use of the drug in the United States and other countries.
However, medical records show that the pill did not have any significant benefits to offer to patients between the ages of 40 and 65.
The design of the study is such that it has its limitations. It did not enroll patients in a random study with a control group, which is typically used for medical research.
Instead, it relied on data obtained from Israel’s health system. However, the results of the study highlight the pandemic’s changing nature.
A huge majority of the people are already protected against COVID-19 because of a prior infection, or due to the vaccine.
This reduces the possibility of COVID-19 complications, particularly where younger adults are concerned.
According to recent estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is some level of immunity to be found in 95% of Americans who are 16 or older.
A physician and a researcher at the University of Minnesota, Dr. David Boulware said that Paxlovid would remain essential for seniors who are at a high risk of COVID-19, or compromised immune systems.
He added that this pill does not really have a lot of benefits to offer to most Americans. He was not part of the Israeli study.
The COVID-19 pill from Pfizer had been authorized late last year by the US Food and Drug Administration for children 12 and older and adults who are at high risk because of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Almost 42% of the adults in the United States are considered obese, which translates to 138 million Americans.
There had not been any at-home treatment options when the FDA made this decision, so Paxlovid had been considered vital for stopping hospitalization and deaths in the winter wave of the virus.
The drug offered stronger results as compared to a similar one from Merck. A Pfizer study involving high risk patients who had not been treated or vaccinated against COVID-19 was used to make the decision.
Earlier this year, the company disclosed that Paxlovid does not offer any significant benefits in healthy adults, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, according to another study it conducted.