No Covid-19 antiviral drugs until April!

NZ Doctor reports:

South Auckland doctors say two new anti-viral drugs to treat patients with COVID-19 are needed now in a bid to manage the country’s Omicron outbreak.

But according to drug buyer Pharmac, the drugs may not be available until April at the earliest.

Other countries have had these drugs for months. Once again we are last. These drugs can massively reduce the impact of Covid-19 on those infected. We needed the drugs in February, not April.

South Auckland GP Dr Api Talemaitoga, chairman of the Pasifika GP Network, said doctors on the front line in Counties Manukau need all the help they can get to manage the Omicron outbreak, and the anti-viral drugs are needed now.

“We’re expecting a peak in case numbers in March, so I can’t understand why we might have to wait until after April for these drugs?”

A good question.

In a statement, Pharmac’s chief medical officer Dr David Hughes said it expected the new medicines to arrive in the country between April and June.

This means we’ll probably get them on 29 June.

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