Covid pill could mean last year of strict measures: RIVM director
RIVM director Jaap van Dissel said he believes strict coronavirus measures will not be necessary after the coming winter period, thanks to the Covid pill that is on the way. It is "unlikely because then, we have that remedy," he told NU.nl.
Van Dissel, who is also the head of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT), emphasized that the pill's success is related to how the patient uses it. "Whether the patient takes the drug, if they take it at the right and how long they take it, are all factors that determine its success."
Van Dissel is counting on the Covid pill being widely available next year. "If you can use it wisely, it can have a positive effect," the RIVM boss said. He also expected a higher Covid-19 vaccination rate in spring and more people to have recovered from the virus. All this together should relieve the pressure on healthcare, according to the head of the OMT.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced on Friday that the anti-Covid pill from the pharmaceutical company MSD may be used in the Netherlands and other European countries. The medicine is still pending approval and authorization, but countries can already choose to distribute the drug "given the increasing coronavirus infection rates and deaths in the European Union."
The pill is intended for people who have just tested positive for the virus and are at risk of becoming very sick. People should start taking the capsules within five days of the first symptoms. They then take it twice a day for five days. The drug should prevent the complaints from getting worse and people ending up or dying. The EMA is also assessing a Covid pill from Pfizer.
Reporting by ANP.