Israel rolls out Pfizer covid pill, using digital health records to identify those most at risk
Israel has begun rolling out a newly approved Pfizer drug, Pfizer’s Paxlovid antiviral pill. Israel is using digital health records kept on almost every citizen to identify those who are at high risk from COVID-19 and are most likely to benefit from the treatment before they become seriously ill. Israel is one of the first countries to put the pill into use, and doctors affiliated with the four publicly funded health-care networks are now dispensing more than 100 courses a day.
The drug is being dispatched to qualified patient’s homes almost as soon as they are testing positive for coronavirus, less than a week after the pill secured approval. Officials say that its too soon to tell if the treatment is preventing serious illness in large numbers, but none of the recipients have yet needed to be hospitalized. The recipients are all immune-compromised or otherwise deemed at the highest risk. In clinical trials, Pfizer reported that the pill reduced death and hospitalization by 89%.