The Pfizer drug that caused a rebound of symptoms when quadruple-vaccinated Dr. Anthony Fauci contracted COVID-19 could help accelerate mutations in SARS-CoV-2 following the FDA’s expansion of emergency use authorization, according to a preprint study.
Virology researchers at Austria’s Medical University of Innsbruck found in an analysis of the Pfizer trial little difference in the number of hospitalizations or deaths between placebo and Paxlovid recipients, Just the News reported.
Johns Hopkins medical professor Marty Makary said the study clearly showed that Paxlovid “overuse in low-risk people can breed resistance and spawn new virus mutations,” calling it “risky business.”
The FDA, nevertheless, has authorized state-licensed pharmacists to circumvent doctors by directly prescribing it.
Philadelphia cardiologist Dr. Anish Koka wrote in his newsletter this week that seven months after its approval, “Apparently, someone in government decided that there wasn’t enough Paxlovid being prescribed.”
The physician said he has “struggled with quite a few Paxlovid requests recently,” mostly from “young vaccinated patients.” The patients, he said, feel pressured to take the treatment, and they “just want some reassurance from a professional that it’s OK to not take a drug.”
Koka said he received a “panicked call” from an emergency room when a vaccinated and boosted elderly patient developed fevers and chills after completing a round of Paxlovid he had prescribed.
The doctor now regrets that he was exposing his patient “to the adverse events of a drug with little to no benefit,” when “doing nothing” seems to work better “the vast majority of the time.”
Vice President Kamala Harris took the drug for her asymptomatic COVID infection this spring. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said last month he experienced a rebound of COVID symptoms after he was treated with the drug.
In May, the Centers for Disease Control issued a formal warning that a course of Paxlovid could produce a rebound of COVID-19.
Just the News asked the FDA how the expanded EUA may affect mutations, particularly when the people most interested in taking the drug already are vaccinated and boosted.
FDA press officer Chanapa Tantibanchachai pointed to a Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Review memo that argues expansion provides “more timely treatment” for eligible patients now that there is “ample supply” of the drug.
The study, however, shows it was “inevitable” that resistance would emerge, according to respiratory specialist Peter Wark of Australia’s University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute.
University of California San Francisco epidemiologist Vinay Prasad tweeted that Pfizer “will make $20 billion+ from this drug, and they still have not provided a positive randomized trial in vaccinated people.”
“Healthy 20-year-olds with no comorbidities and three vaccines are taking this product,” he said.
Prasad sees political motivations behind the push for Paxlovid.
“The worry of course is that need to be seen as offering something for political rather than medical reasons,” he wrote. “They need to limit cases right at the moment of the midterm elections.
“The other concern is that clearly Pfizer has excess product, and this move will help them unload that supply. Are they merely working in Pfizer’s best interest?”
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