Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
The Conversation

Local infectious disease doctor on acquiring and administering new COVID-19 drugs

Pfizer's antiviral pill Paxlovid to treat COVID-19 was authorized by the Food and Drug Administration Wednesday.
David Dee Delgado
/
Getty Images
Pfizer's antiviral pill Paxlovid to treat COVID-19 was authorized by the Food and Drug Administration Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi’s chief of infectious disease says new life-saving COVID-19 therapies are extremely limited as Omicron surges in the community.

Although the science is improving, pharmacies need time to produce the new drugs in sufficient quantities to meet the public need.

Dr. Tarquin Collis deals with the scarcity of these new treatments on a daily basis.

“Trying to figure out who was at most risk, who could benefit most, and who should get first priority — and it's always painful as a doc to have to think that stuff through. You want to be able to help everyone," Collis said. "But the reality is you have to do the most with what you have until you have a lot more of it. And so that's the situation we're in."

"I'm actually very grateful that we have some new therapies to offer even though we don't have near as much as any of us would like," Collis told The Conversation. "Until these are really ramped up in their production, we'll just have to be very selective."

"And I think all of the institutions that are doing this, unfortunately, are having to choose very carefully which patients they're treating, so that we do the most good with them," he said.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Jan. 12, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Related Content