US adds Merck pill as 2nd easy-to-use drug against COVID-19

FILE - This undated file image provided by Merck & Co. shows their new antiviral medication. U.S. health officials say Merck's experimental COVID-19 pill is effective but raises safety issues for pregnant women. The Food and Drug Administration posted its review Friday, Nov. 26, 2021 ahead of a public meeting next week where outside experts will debate the drug's benefits and risks.

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Nevada has launched a new website where people can find COVID-19 treatment options available in the state. 

Nevada Health Response website recently expanded the COVID-19 treatment page with more information on the different types of treatments available and how to locate them. Treatments are available for those who have a confirmed positive COVID-19 test, said a statement from Nevada Health Response on Friday. 

Most treatments are recommended for high-risk patients who are age 12 and older and have had a confirmed positive COVID-19 test within the last 5 to 10 days, depending on treatment type. Eligibility may differ based on method of treatment available. 

"The state is still receiving limited treatments from the federal government but is working alongside the State Board of Pharmacy and other partners to request more product and to ensure Nevadans have access to these treatments," the statement said. 

Gov. Steve Sisolak said the treatments should help prevent hospitalization and death. The governor and Nevada Legislature have approved allocating $19.6 million to support an increase in access to monoclonal antibody treatment and other COVID-19 treatments throughout Nevada.

“These therapeutics help Nevadans recover from COVID-19 faster and can help prevent hospitalization and death,” said Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. “Treatment is not a substitution for vaccination, and we want to continue to encourage Nevadans to get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19, but if you do get sick, there are treatments available.”

Several monoclonal antibody treatments have been authorized by the federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization (EUA) to treat high-risk patients who have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19. Monoclonal antibodies should be initiated as soon as possible but within 10 days of symptom onset or positive test.

While the cost of the treatment is free, the cost to administer the medication by a medical provider is high. This funding approval allows DPBH to ensure that equitable access to monoclonal antibody treatment is in place statewide for all Nevadans regardless of geography, demography or health insurance coverage.

In addition to monoclonal antibody treatments, there are also two antiviral pills – PAXLOVID and Molnupiravir. COVID-19 therapeutics can only be prescribed by doctors, physicians, advanced practiced registered nurses and physician assistants. Contact your provider or one of the treatment center locations for more information.

Information about COVID-19 treatments is available here: https://nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/find-treatment/

Information about where to find COVID-19 treatments: https://nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/find-covid-19-treatment/ 

Copyright 2021 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(1) comment

george strong

Ivermectin and HCQ are proven to work but don't make enough money for Big Pharma and the hospitals.

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