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Covid-19: Antiviral purchased by UK government does not lower risk of hospital admission, trial shows

BMJ 2022; 379 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o2441 (Published 11 October 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;379:o2441

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Re: Covid-19: Antiviral purchased by UK government does not lower risk of hospital admission, trial shows

Dear Editor,

For those who had pinned their hopes on Molnupiravir and its efficacy, the early results of Panoramic, an open labelled clinical trial, may come as a serious disappointment, as well as to government(s) that may have invested in / purchased the drug at substantial costs. The timing of initiation of the antiviral agent in the course of illness matters, and that has been attended to in the study. Going by the reluctance displayed / reported for the vaccine booster shot, the role of antiviral drug assumes added significance in the face of continued addition of cases in Europe and elsewhere.

Though Panoramic is not yet complete, early trend shows less promise. The second trial on Paxlovid is awaited, as the need to obviate hospitalisation as possible, if the drug is administered early enough in the course of the viral illness, is the main purpose and intention. The difference between 'hype' and 'hope' may be large indeed.

Dr Murar E Yeolekar, Mumbai.

Competing interests: No competing interests

16 October 2022
Murar E Yeolekar
Consultant Physician
Fmr Prof & Head of Internal Medicine, KJSMC&LTMMC
Sion, Mumbai 400 022.