The Netherlands is far behind in buying the coronavirus pill Paxlovid. Most Western European countries are already prescribing the drug to people at high risk, but the Netherlands is still negotiating the price with pharmaceutical Pfizer, BNR reports.
This drug can protect people at risk of hospitalization from becoming seriously ill with the corona virus. Experts told the broadcaster that with autumn and another expected wave of coronavirus infections, it is inconceivable that the Netherlands is pulling its feed to obtain the drug.
“I couldn’t come up with any reasoning why the Netherlands is so slow,” Nicole Hünfeld, vice president of pharmacist organization KNMP, told BNR. “We are behind other countries because the Netherlands just can’t commit. Negotiations have been going on for months.” And while the drug may give people in high-risk groups — such as those who have had organ transplants — some breathing room, she said.
UMC Amsterdam clinical pharmacologist Kus Dijkstra also wants Paxlovid to be already available in the Netherlands. “If the EMA approves it, you can order and administer it. Then it usually just depends on the economic side. The Netherlands is always at the forefront of Europe in negotiating the lowest price, but it also means “It’s that you have to wait a long time for the drug. Or it may not be available at all. I would love to use this drug tomorrow for the patients who will benefit the most.”
The EMA approved Paxlovid in January. Since then, many European and other countries have purchased the pill from Pfizer. Belgium, France, Spain, Austria, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Israel are all already prescribing the drug, Pfizer told BNR.
“With fears of a new resurgence of the coronavirus in the autumn, early medicine may be even more relevant,” said virologist Ab Osterhaus. He feels the government lacks urgency due to the low number of Covid-19 hospitalizations currently in place. “It may be that more people, especially those in previously known risk groups, will become more seriously ill again. Furthermore, we do not yet know whether the available vaccines are able to adequately protect them.” Will it be or not.”
According to JA21 MP Niki Pauw-Verwijk, this fits the health ministry’s pattern for this pandemic. “It was inevitable to feel the urgency too late each time, so that the effects could no longer be interrupted, and then act like too drastic measures.