Connect with Point of View   to get exclusive commentary and updates

Doctor Biden

Paxlovid - Nirmatrelvir & Ritonavir
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Penna Dexternever miss viewpoints

State of the Union addresses remind me of how often governments get involved in matters that, in a market economy, are not their business. It’s a big country. We have companies and professionals to assess and meet people’s individual needs. Government is too big and remote for that.

Case in point. In President Biden’s address last week, he touted, among other things, an anti-Covid initiative called “Test to Treat.” The idea is that people would get tested for Covid at a pharmacy, “and if they’re positive, receive anti-viral pills on the spot at no cost.” The president spoke of the “Pfizer pill,” which he said “reduces your chances of ending up in the hospital by 90%.”

According to physician and biologist Henry Miller, “It’s a bad idea, and the president’s medical advisors should have steered him away from it.” In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, Dr. Miller, who is Senior Fellow at the Pacific Research Institute, explained that the “Pfizer pill” is the name being used for Paxlovid and it’s really two pills. Nirmatrelvir is the anti-viral agent and ritonavir increases the concentration of nirmatrelvir in the blood.

“The problem,” writes Dr. Miller, “is that ritonavir can cause complications when combined with a huge number of commonly prescribed drugs.” This is especially true in the elderly and patients with comorbidities.

Dr. Miller wonders: Would the patient receiving a positive test at the pharmacy have thought to have “brought a complete list of his medications?” Probably not. And who is going to decide if the Pfizer pill is safe for this patient? Dr. Miller says, “the pharmacist is unlikely to be capable of making that judgment. “

The FDA is making Paxlovid available under an emergency-use authorization. The patient’s doctor is the best-equipped person to decide if it is appropriate for him or her.

Government shouldn’t be handing out prescription medicines to elderly Covid patients. Instead, doctors should be allowed to do their jobs.penna's vp small

Viewpoints sign-up