News organizations have recently been down on Paxlovid, while it has become the standard of care. Some claim Pfizer's Covid drug "has lost its luster" because of "failures" in two clinical trials. Now, a third trial looks like it could deliver another black mark: the drug doesn't improve symptoms in low-risk patients with Covid. Is this criticism valid? Let's look a little deeper.
Drugs & Pharmaceuticals
There's been a lot of news, some of it fear-mongering, about Pfizer's Covid drug Paxlovid. Some people are having their symptoms return after completing the five-day course. Does that mean there is something wrong with the drug, or it's simply a property of the virus? Drs. Henry Miller and Josh Bloom try to provide an answer in Issues & Insights.
Will we ever run out of "alternative therapies" to force on people who just need a little Valium or some extra morphine following surgery? Hard to say, but take a sniff of this one.
Most users perceive marijuana as a healthy, natural plant. It's touted as a cure or treatment for pain, anxiety, seizures, and other various ailments. Yet, much of this is false. Dr. Roneet Lev, a board-certified emergency medicine physician and addiction specialist, tells us about what the pot industry prefers to keep to itself.
Marijuana is being decriminalized across the US. Most are celebrating, but there is a real (and sometimes serious) public health threat that tags along. Most of you will be unaware of what you're about to read. Dr. Roneet Lev, the former head of the Scripps Mercy Hospital emergency department and also an addiction specialist shares some eye-opening information in the following interview.
For reasons I cannot fathom, we are treated to yet another clinical trial about IV Tylenol and whether it can decrease the amount of morphine needed by pain patients in the ER. Here's your hint: No.
A Boston Globe article describes COVID-19 patients completing a course of Paxlovid – and then becoming ill again shortly thereafter. Is there something wrong with the drug? Is this something to worry about?
The controversy surrounding ivermectin as a therapy for COVID has been longstanding and fierce. A recent paper in NEJM may or may not settle the ongoing debate. But the paper is full of data. Here is a condensed look at the key numbers.
Antibiotic R&D is hard. Getting to approval is harder. Surviving the commercialization step today is almost impossible. Government-based funding to fix the broken antibiotic market is essential to stop this march of the lemmings. Private investment will follow a government incentive and amplify its effect.
Two months ago, there was a mad rush to get the two oral antiviral pills approved to treat COVID-19. Pharmacies often ran out of these drugs within hours of delivery. Now, no one wants them. What is going on?
Sports fans will never forget the day in 1991 when L.A. Lakers star Earvin "Magic" Johnson announced that he was infected with HIV. Johnson was lucky; he survived long enough to see the advent of the first effective AIDS drugs. But not everyone was so lucky.
Should the COVID drug Paxlovid be available without a prescription? Some argue that pharmacists should be able to distribute the drug to people who have tested positive for COVID while others, including the AMA, believe that only physicians should be able to prescribe the drug because of some potentially dangerous drug-drug interactions. Cato Institute's Dr. Jeffrey Singer weighs in.