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Awareness, Use of Anti-COVID Drugs Is Low

(Reuters) – Fewer than 2% of nonhospitalized high-risk patients with COVID-19 are receiving drugs that can limit the extent of their illness, survey results suggest.

In March 2022, researchers recruited 1,159 people from 37 states who were positive for SARS-CoV-2 on PCR tests and asked whether they knew about or had taken effective treatments for the virus, such as monoclonal antibodies or oral antiviral drugs molnupiravir from Merck & Co or Pfizer’s Paxlovid. Among the 241 individuals older than 65, whose age puts them at risk for severe COVID-19, 66% were aware of treatments and 36.3% had sought them, but only 1.7% reported use of such drugs, according to a report posted on medRxiv ahead of peer review.

Among patients under 65, even fewer were aware of the treatments and had sought them, and rates of use were barely higher than among the older group. “More awareness of effective medicines for COVID-19 among the public and healthcare workers is needed to prevent serious disease and death,” said study leader Dr. Noah Kojima of the University of California, Los Angeles.

SOURCE: medRxiv, online April 26, 2022.

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