Supply is more resilient than you think

In the comments section after my previous post, Garrett Here’s another great example of how American doctors are making us sick:

My wife (early 30’s) was diagnosed with covid a few weeks ago. He noticed a scratched throat on Sunday night after we went out for dinner on Friday night and by that Tuesday he was bedridden with a fever near 103. For the next two days he could not work or do anything. I read about the guidelines on how paxlovid is a wonderful medicine and I noticed that one of the risk factors is asthma.
He has scheduled a telehealth visit and spoke to a supplier via videocall on Thursday afternoon. The doctor originally told him that Paxlovid was for people over 65 and that he did not need it because he would get rid of it in the next few days, but if he was worried about his asthma he would prescribe him a separate inhaler. My wife was too tired to stand up for herself so I had to keep my feet up and push for it.
I had a prescription guide on my phone but the doctor would not move. I finally said it was ridiculous, there was no shortage of paxlovid, and punishing my wife for one more week of illness was dishonest. My wife kicked me out of the room for that howl, so I walked to cool the dog.
I came back even though my wife said she got the prescription. After I left the room, the doctor said, “I don’t think you need it, but I’ll write it down if your husband insists.” He took the pills a few hours later and like Scott he immediately felt better!

Yes, this case had a happy ending. But how many of us would have persevered like Garrett?

What about the argument that Paxlovid has a limited supply and should be reserved for those most in need? If your name is not Matt Iglesias, the resilience of the supply is probably much higher than you thought. Think about how vaccine companies have created doses much higher than their supposed “capacity”. The same is true of Paxlovid. From this Last November:

Pfizer’s oral COVID-19 drug efficacy data now looks so compelling that the big pharma company is increasing production capacity before the FDA approves the expected emergency use.

Pfizer now expects to have 80 million courses of covid drug Paxlovid by the end of 2022, Pfizer CEO Albert Borla, PhD, told CNBC in an interview Monday. The company said earlier that it plans to have the capacity to create 50 million courses.

Mark reported a 50% to 30% drop in final analysis after reporting hospitalization and mortality risk reduction from his Rezback Therapeutics-partner Covid Antiviral, Malnupiravi. The updated results stimulated expectations of increased demand for Paxlovid, which showed an 89% risk reduction in outpatients.

So as soon as its rivals get into trouble, Pfizer miraculously discovers more “power” than they imagined.

Six weeks later:

In early November, Pfizer estimated that it could create 50 million courses of treatment by 2022; Then, at the end of the month, the company raised that estimate to 80 million. During the JPMorgan Healthcare conference on Monday, CEO Albert Borla, PhD, took it a step further.

“We are confident that we will be able to treat 120 million people this year,” Borla said. “It’s 3.6 billion tablets. It is a great power. But it is possible. “

But why stop there?

But wait, there’s more. The agency is working to add more capacity by the end of this year, as several countries have indicated interest in stockpiling the treatment, Borla said. Unlike the vaccine, it is an alternative to paxlovid because the shell-life of the pill is three years.

“If these negotiations go ahead, we will have to do more than 120 (million), so we are aiming here now,” Borla said.

PS Demand is also more resilient than you think. When I was younger, my dad used to say that the cigarette tax would not stop anyone from smoking, because the product is addictive. Much later in life, my mother told me that when she was younger she smoked something I had never known (and never imagined). I asked her why she stopped. “When your dad and I got married, we decided we could afford only one smoker in the family.” Sadly, I never confronted my father with this counter-argument, because he died of emphysema at the age of 68. My mother turned just 96 years old on Tuesday.

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