Opinion: Does Paxlovid help people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19? Show us the data!

Doctors frustrated with their unvaccinated patients should stop shaking their fists at them and consider how the medical community has contributed to public distrust of Big Pharma.

As a primary care doctor in New York City, I am grateful to drug companies for providing effective Covid-19 therapies for my patients. But I am also frustrated that these companies appear to be completely running the show, and believe that Americans could get more from Big Pharma if only our regulators dared to ask for it. This dynamic is on display with Paxlovid, which was approved based on a study that seems designed to exaggerate the benefit most Americans can expect from this drug rather than provide us with relevant information about it.

Among antiviral agents for Covid-19, Pfizer’s Paxlovid has emerged as the clear winner for two reasons: First, as a pill, Paxlovid is easy to administer, compared to the infusions required for monoclonal antibodies and remdesivir. Second, Paxlovid appears to be highly effective, with a clinical trial showing an 89% relative reduction in hospitalizations or death among high-risk patients who receive it.

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