Disparities exist in the dispensing of oral antiviral drugs for COVID-19, according to research published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Meghan E. Pennini, PhD, and colleagues examined disparities in dispensing rates from December 23, 2021, to May 21, 2022, noting that HHS has been distributing nirmatrelvir/ritonavir and molnupiravir at no cost since their authorization to reduce the risk for COVID-19-associated hospitalization and death. The data indicated substantial disparities in the population-adjusted dispensing rates in high versus medium and low social vulnerability zip codes. Dispensing rates per 100,000 residents from April 24 to May 21, 2022 were 122 in high-vulnerability zip codes, 247 in medium-vulnerability zip codes, and 274 in low-vulnerability zip codes, or 19%, 42%, and 39% of the overall population-adjusted dispensing rates, respectively.
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