Is Paxlovid, the Covid pill, reaching those who most need it? The government won’t say

As the nation largely abandons mask mandates, physical distancing, and other covid-19 prevention strategies, elected officials and health departments alike are now championing antiviral pills. But the federal government isn’t saying how many people have received these potentially lifesaving drugs or whether they’re being distributed equitably.

Pfizer’s Paxlovid pill, along with Merck’s molnupiravir, are aimed at preventing vulnerable patients with mild or moderate covid from becoming sicker or dying. More than 300 Americans still die from covid every day.

National supply counts, which the Biden administration has shared sporadically, aren’t the only data local health officials need to ensure their residents can access the treatments. Recent federal changes designed to let large pharmacy chains like CVS and Walgreens efficiently manage their supplies have had an unintended consequence: Now many public health workers are unable to see how many doses have been shipped to their communities or used. And…
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