Experts say that there should be more action taken towards protecting and curing the serious ailments in the people who were recently infected. Scientists must develop medication or pills for this purpose.
Scientists Are Looking Forward To Developing A Pill To Reduce The Severity Of Covid -19 Infections
Dr. Rajesh Gandhi, director of HIV Clinical Services and Education at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, said that a pill is needed to prevent people from getting admitted to hospitals.
Gandhi said that the antiviral tablet should be able to destroy the virus in the body when it is in its active phase before the symptoms are not developed. He also added that according to observations, the virus is most active in the first few days or one week when it starts multiplying in the body. At this phase, the antiviral pill might work to stop the virus from making replications, thereby checking people from getting worse health conditions.
Gandhi mentioned that efforts are already going on in developing such a pill, and he is hopeful about getting one by the end of this year.
Pfizer has already developed a trial medicine as recommended by Gandhi. This pill is like a protease inhibitor similar to those used for curing HIV and Hepatitis C. It helps to cut down the enzymes produced in the body that aids in the multiplication of the virus.
There are other drugs under development that would attack the virus directly by interrupting its power to duplicate and increase.
Although vaccines were successfully developed, yet medicines and treatment options to treat people who are coming in contact with the virus and developing symptoms at the milder form before it gets escalated are very few.
Gandhi mentioned Monoclonal antibodies to be the only treatment to stop the infection from escalating. He recommends the use of this more, as evidence is stronger for this.
Gandhi said that if any re-purposed drug that had been already developed for treating some other infection would have worked, then those could be used. But so far, none of those have been competent to fight the virus. Therefore the pharmaceutical organizations are now looking at antiviral means like Pfizer’s trial drug.
The CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, reported to CNBC at the beginning of this week that his organization is working on developing an oral pill, which should be in the market by the end of this year.
Gandhi spoke about another oral antiviral pill, Molnupiravir, that was made by Merck. This pill is supposed to be a five-day dosage to be taken at home that would block the spread of infection.
Gandhi also informed about a Swiss drugmaker called Roche, who is also experimenting with another oral antiviral.
Dr. AdarshBhimraj, head of the Neurological Infectious Diseases Section In the Department of Infectious Diseases at Cleveland Clinic, remarked that financial assistance is needed to test and trial the easily administered antiviral drugs.
He also said that the researchers should be open to trying the possible combinations of these oral drugs in such a manner that it prevents drug resistance. Bhimraj said that the combinations of antivirals could be helpful once the pandemic starts coming in control.
Some experts pointed out that medications are also required for people who are hospitalized.
Gandhi said that once the infection is severe and the patient is hospitalized, the antivirals wouldn’t help as the severe symptoms are developed due to inflammation. At this point, the most effective medicine is dexamethasone and oxygen supply.
The only antiviral medicine that has shown results in helping hospitalized patients is Remdesivir, but its benefits are less, as reported by Gandhi and Bhimraj.About Remdesivir, Gandhi said that it helps in fast recovery, but till now, it has not proved to save lives in any of the countries.
Gandhi and Bhimraj are requesting people to participate in clinical trials for the new drugs and combination treatments.