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Covid, antivirals from the family doctor: what Andreoni, Bassetti and Gismondo say

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Experts divided on Covid antivirals prescribed by the family doctor. “There is certainly the need to maximize the distribution of antivirals in pills” against Covid-19, “which have proven to be able to reduce hospitalizations and the progression of severe disease, hence the possibility of allowing the prescription also to the doctor family will be able to simplify access to these drugs “explains to Adnkronos Salute Massimo Andreoni, head of infectious disease at the Tor Vergata Polyclinic in Rome and scientific director of the Italian Society of Infectious and Tropical Diseases (Simit), commenting on the possible go-ahead of the Italian Medicines Agency to prescribe oral antivirals by family doctors. “But great attention is needed – he underlines – they are antivirals that must be experienced. Certainly the general practitioner may be able to manage these drugs, but from the AIFA it is essential to provide as correct information as possible because there could be a rush by those affected by the anti-Covid pill “. For Matteo Bassetti, director of the Infectious Diseases Clinic of the San Martino Polyclinic in Genoa, leaving the prescriptions of antiviral pills against Covid to general practitioners “will not solve the problem. In a country like ours, where there is no profound infectious culture “, doing it” on these drugs is a serious mistake. The prescription requires the compilation of a complex Aifa form both before and after, plus they are drugs that have important interactions with other molecules. In short, it seems to me a populist decision . Antivirals must be prescribed with absolute appropriateness, otherwise we belittle them. I see a lot of politics and little science. ” On why the use of these drugs is struggling to take off in Italy, Bassetti clarifies that “they can be intended for a small part of positive symptomatic subjects, that is serious immunosuppressed and those with other diseases. Patients – he specifies – who are better managed by the doctor together with a specialist “. So what are the causes? “Antivirals have not been used in the Regions that have not been able to organize themselves – says Bassetti – In Liguria, but also in Lazio and Tuscany, the distribution system has worked. But the reality is that they have not been used because they are not everyone can take them. ” The possibility, for family doctors, of prescribing antiviral pills against Covid-19 “I believe it will be a turning point in the fight against the pandemic” comments Maria Rita Gismondo, director of the Clinical Microbiology, Virology and Bio-Emergency Diagnostics Laboratory of the hospital Sack of Milan. A measure that “we should have brought forward at least a few months, since these drugs were authorized and made available”. “It is a provision that we have been waiting for for a long time and that should make us reflect – she emphasizes – on how many people have not been able to take care of themselves due to unnecessary delays”. For this “we welcome it with enthusiasm”, continues the expert. “Now, however – he specifies – as has rightly been done with the” anti-Covid vaccines, “we must help the medical profession to train themselves on the correct use of these drugs and to use them, because we know that unfortunately they are largely unused” for via della bureaucrazia, “but also because there is not enough knowledge – points out Gismondo – So this opportunity is good, and we ensure that, thanks to training, oral antivirals are used for patients who can benefit from them”.

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