Differences seen in the distribution of oral antiviral drugs for COVID-19 based on socially vulnerable zip codes, according to research published in the October 28 issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. and Disease Prevention America. Weekly reports on morbidity and mortality.
Note that the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been distributing nirmatrelvir/ritonavir and molnupiravir free of charge since its authorization in December 2021 to reduce the risk of hospitalizations related to COVID-19 and death in individuals at risk, Meg Sullivan, MD, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, DC, and colleagues examined disparities in dispensing rates. Data was obtained from supplier websites between December 23, 2021 and May 21, 2022.
The researchers found that the data showed deviant in population-adjusted distributions in high versus moderate and low socially vulnerable zip codes. Distribution rates for the four-week period from April 24 to May 21, 2022, were 122, 247, and 274 per 100,000 residents in high, medium, and low vulnerability zip codes, respectively. (19, 42, and 39% of overall population-adjusted dispensing rates).
The authors write: “The COVID-19 treatment program represents the largest-scale distribution of HHS antivirals, with approximately 16 million courses of COVID-19 available through August 2018. 2022”. “Ensuring equitable access to antiretroviral drugs is essential to improving patient outcomes.”
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