A while yet before Covid medicine can go to patients: Dutch GP assoc.
It may take some time before Pfizer's coronavirus pills can be prescribed to patients, the Dutch Association of General Practitioners (NHG) said. General practitioners and other medical specialists must first draw up a treatment guideline for the medicine.
The guideline states which patients can use the pills based on information about the medicine's effectiveness, safety, and side effects. "Is the medicine only made available for a very specific group of patients, or not? That is quite a complicated process to determine, in which many different parties are involved," explained an NHG spokesperson.
The doctors need details about how the pills work, but they have not yet been published. Once that happened, it could take at least a few weeks for the recommendations to be drawn up, the spokesperson said.
On Thursday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved Pfizer's coronavirus pills. The drug can be prescribed to people already infected with the virus to help prevent serious illness.
The Ministry of Public Health, Welfare, and Sports said that the Netherlands has not yet ordered coronavirus pills from the pharmaceutical. The Cabinet agreed to arrange the purchasing at the European level, and negotiations between the European Commission and Pfizer are still ongoing. The Ministry did not dare say how long that would take.
Reporting by ANP.