26 million people stuck in Paxlovid 'deserts'

At-home COVID-19 treatment Paxlovid was inaccessible to more than 26 million Americans January through March, according to a recent GoodRx analysis. The pharmacy "deserts" spanned 42 percent of the nation's counties and mainly fell in rural areas.

One of the possible causes for the supply drought is the shaky test-to-treat initiative, which faces fewer COVID-19 tests and a public wary of taking a new medication.

The GoodRx study also revealed an even distribution of Paxlovid to racial minorities in urban areas, including Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American populations.

To determine how Paxlovid was distributed, GoodRx used HHS data detailing the number of publicly available Paxlovid courses distributed by county.

After gaining FDA approval and being available at the end of 2021, Paxlovid recently surpassed other antiviral treatments. In clinical trials, the Pfizer drug had an 89 percent efficacy rate in reducing the risk of hospitalization or death in adults.


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