The antiviral drug Paxlovid appears to reduce the risk of dying from COVID-19 by 79% and decrease hospitalizations by 73% in at-risk patients aged 65 and older, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
The pill, which is a combination of the drugs nirmatrelvir and ritonavir, received FDA emergency use authorization in December 2021 to treat mild to moderate disease in ages 12 and older who face high risks of having severe COVID-19, hospitalization, and death.
“The results of the study show unequivocally that treatment with Paxlovid significantly reduces the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19,” Doron Netzer, MD, the senior study author and a researcher with Clalit Health Services in Tel Aviv, Israel, told The Jerusalem Post.
“We are the country’s leader in the provision of giving Paxlovid to relevant patients,” he said. “It was given to patients all over the country, with medical teams monitoring the patients who took the pills.”
The research is considered one of the most thorough studies published to date about how well Paxlovid works, the news outlet reported. The research team analyzed information from Clalit’s electronic medical records. The health care organization covers about 52% of the Israeli population and almost two-thirds of older adults. More than 30,000 COVID-19 patients in Israel have been treated with the drug so far.
The study didn’t receive any financial or in-kind support, the authors said.