Paxlovid (Paxzen) reduces risks of later developing long COVID

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Researchers from the Veterans Health Administration find that taking the Paxlovid medication also reduce the risks of later developing long COVID, according to a new study.

It’s well-documented that Paxlovid — a 5-day course of antiviral pills from Pfizer — can reduce the risk of hospitalization in COVID-19 patients who are more likely to develop severe illness.

“We’ve already known for some time now that Paxlovid reduces the risk of acute problems,” says Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, chief of research and development at the VA Saint Louis Healthcare System, and co-author of the study, “Now we are adding the observation that Paxlovid also reduces the risk of long COVID.”

The drug, which has been available in the U.S. for almost a year, is provided for free by the federal government at pharmacies across the country. It requires a prescription, and patients with COVID-19 must start it within five days of symptom onset.

In India, Zenara Pharma, a subsidiary of Biophore India Pharma, has launched Nirmatrelvir and Ritonavir tablets in a combi pack.

Zenara Pharma has received approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) to manufacture and market this product last month. The tablet, which will be sold under the brand name ‘Paxzen,’ is being manufactured at Zenara’s US FDA and EU approved state-of-the-art facility in Hyderabad, as per a statement from Zenara Pharma.

The product will be sold at a Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of Rs 5,200 per box, equivalent to one full course of treatment per patient, and contains 20 tablets of Nirmatrelvir 150ml and 10 tablets of Ritonavir 100mg, the statement added.

Dr Jagadeesh Babu Rangisetty, co-founder and Managing Director, Zenara Pharma, said in the statement, “We have launched this product in India with an aim to bring the best treatment options against COVID within reach of patients in our country. Our product, Paxzen, has been proven equivalent to Paxlovid through a bioequivalence study, based on which we have received the approval from the regulatory authorities.”

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