In the US, about 350 people die of Covid-19 each day. That figure is much lower than at the peak, but it’s still a disturbingly high death toll given that new Covid infections have fallen sharply in recent months.

Last December, the FDA authorized the use of Paxlovid, which was shown to be 90% effective in treating Covid. Since that time, I’ve read numerous articles suggesting that many Covid sufferers are not being given this highly effective treatment.

I know of a 97-year old man who was hospitalized immediately after contracting Covid, and then put on oxygen. He was not given Paxlovid until 6 days later, when he asked for it. In another case, a Covid sufferer I know asked her doctor about Paxlovid, and the doctor responded that she’d never heard of the drug.

These cases seem to confirm what I’ve been reading in the media. I’m puzzled as to what’s going on here. We have this paternalistic health care system where people are not supposed to make their own decisions; rather they are supposed to rely on “experts” for advice and prescriptions. So why are the experts failing us?

PS.  For what it’s worth, Paxlovid is the most effective drug I’ve ever taken.  I almost always take at least 7 to 10 days to recover from an illness with a fever, sometimes a month.  (I have a weak immune system.)   After taking Paxlovid, I recovered in about 12 hours.  Yes, there’s no proof of cause and effect in my case.  But recall that the Paxlovid clinical study also showed a high rate of effectiveness.

In my case, I got the prescription after about a 15 second consultation with a person I’d never met over a telemedicine zoom meeting.  Couldn’t a pharmacist do that?  Apparently not:

Even if you qualify, someone will still have to prescribe the drug, which means the pharmacy you get tested at will need to have a clinic, like CVS’ MinuteClinic, where a professional can screen, diagnose and prescribe. Only 10% of CVS drugstores and even fewer Walgreens have clinicians on site.

I understand that pharmacists might make a few more errors in their 15 seconds of questioning than the telemedicine operator I spoke with.  But 350 people are dying every day.  Is the FDA looking at this on a cost/benefit basis?

PPS.  We could also save many lives if more people got Covid vaccine boosters.  I also know of specific cases where the medical establishment dropped the ball on this issue.