by Ioanna Kyriakou
More and more drugs are being included in doctors' inventories in order to deal with the pandemic. At the moment, at the European level, eight are available - pills and monoclonal antibodies - which Cyprus has taken care to secure.
According to what the Deputy Director of Pharmaceutical Services of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Elena Panayotopoulou, told Kathimerini, the drugs that have received the "green" light from the European Medicines Agency are "Paxlovid" (Pfizer), "Remdesivir", "Roactemra" (monoclonal), "Kineret", "Regeneron Roche" (monoclonal) and "Xevudy" (monoclonal). It is noted that the drug "Molnupiravir" (MSD) is also available for doctors to prescribe, and though it is licensed, has only received approval from the European Medicines Agency.
Facts about the MSD pill in Cyprus
"Molnupiravir" has been administered to Cypriot patients since January 17, and as Dr. Panayotopoulou told us, as of Monday, January 31, 166 patients had received the pill. According to her, there were no reports of side effects, however, there were two reports of patients who, despite receiving the pill, were eventually hospitalized. Asked about the effectiveness of the drugs, Dr. Panagiotopoulou explained that real-world evidence is expected from countries that carry out clinical trials and have administered the drugs to a large number of patients.
"Pfizer" pill in mid-February
In mid-February, Cyprus is expected to acquire a new "weapon" against the pandemic, "Paxlovid" (Pfizer), which will cover the treatment of more than 15 thousand patients. Dr. Panagiotopoulou said that its arrival is expected in the 3rd or 4th week of the month. This is the second antiviral pill to arrive in Cyprus, which according to the manufacturer, is up to 90% effective in preventing hospitalization and preventing deaths from coronavirus for patients belonging to high-risk groups. It is noted that this pill can not be administered to pregnant and lactating mothers, as well as to people with liver and kidney failure.
New vaccine at the end of the month
In addition to the "Pfizer" pill, Cyprus will include in its inventory of pandemic fighting drugs a new vaccine called Novavax, which is a protein-based technology. The vaccine is expected in Cyprus at the end of February. However, it is worth noting that according to Dr. Panayotopoulou, the pharmaceutical industry is focusing on the production of vaccines that will be administered only once a year and will cover a wide range of mutations.