France will soon have a veritable army of drugs in its drawers to deal with the coronavirus epidemic.

If "vaccination remains our main weapon" says an adviser to the Ministry of Health, effective curative and preventive treatments exist in parallel.

They are intended in particular for certain very elderly, immunocompromised or very high-risk people in whom vaccination does not prove sufficiently effective.

On Friday, France will thus receive the first 6,000 doses of a curative treatment by monoclonal antibody, Sotrovimab (Vir Biotechnology / GSK).

A first delivery when the government has ordered 20,000 in total.

Effective against Omicron, it has the disadvantage of being administered by intravenous injection in the hospital or via hospitalization at home within 5 days of the appearance of the first symptoms.

The long-awaited opinion on the Paxlovid

But sotrovimab is not the only treatment that France intends to acquire. At the end of January, the delivery of an antiviral is planned: the Paxlovid pill, from Pfizer. Administered orally at the rate of three tablets per day for 5 days, this treatment is effective against Omicron and reduces the risk of being hospitalized or dying from Covid by 89%. One of the molecules contained in Paxlovid can nevertheless interact with other treatments taken by certain patients, who will therefore not be eligible for it.

“We have reserved 500,000 doses in 2022 and the first deliveries – a few thousand doses – are expected in a week”, indicates the entourage of Olivier Véran.

Its deployment will be done in particular via a prescription by general practitioners, in all pharmacies.

An opinion from the High Health Authority on this treatment is expected on Friday morning.

Pfizer has announced an investment of more than 500 million euros to produce the drug's raw material in France in the summer of 2022.

Without forgetting the Ronapreve and the Evusheld

For people who lack antibodies, preventive treatments also exist.

If Ronapreve (developed by Regeneron with the Roche laboratory), effective against the Delta variant, is no longer effective against Omicron, AstraZeneca's Evusheld has now been available in France since mid-December.

“We have reserved 50,000 doses, we have more than 6,500 patients treated at the moment”, we underline at the ministry.

This treatment has two advantages: “it remains effective against Omicron and only requires one injection every six months”.


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