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StarMed location has supplies of antiviral pill to treat COVID-19

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of the treatment last December.
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 9:14 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - StarMed Healthcare has supplies of the first antiviral pill available to treat adult patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms, officials said Wednesday.

According to StarMed, the pill molnupiravir, manufactured by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, is most effective when it is taken within five days of a person being diagnosed with COVID-19. It was shown in clinical trials to reduce COVID-19 patients’ chance of hospitalization and death by 30 percent.

Patients must be 18 or older to receive the treatment. StarMed Healthcare has the pill treatment at its FreeMore location in west Charlotte, located at 4001 Tuckaseegee Road, while supplies last.

COVID-19 patients can register for the treatment here. All COVID-19 treatments are no cost to the patient, with or without insurance.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of the treatment last December.

Related: US adds Merck pill as 2nd easy-to-use drug against COVID-19

Starmed Healthcare officials said they plan to expand the pill treatment to its other locations throughout Charlotte and North Carolina. The pill treatment is for five days and is most effective if a person begins as soon as they’re diagnosed with COVID-19.

“We are excited to offer this treatment that can decrease the severity of COVID-19 symptoms and lessen the chance of hospitalization and death,” said Dr. Arin Piramzadian, StarMed Healthcare’s chief medical officer. “We look forward to helping patients who have tested positive and can benefit from this pill treatment. But this isn’t a substitute for a COVID-19 vaccination, which is still your best defense against the virus.”

Until now, COVID-19 treatments required infusion, in which a patient must visit a clinic or hospital.

Health officials said the new pill treatment works like most antiviral drugs by inhibiting the ability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to replicate. Doctors hope that they can treat COVID-19 much the same way they do influenza with Tamiflu, an antiviral medication that’s used to prevent serious flu symptoms.

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