Access to experimental monkeypox treatment remains uneven, doctors say – CTV

Aug. 2, 2022

A drug is available for monkeypox patients who have or who are at risk of severe disease, but doctors say they continue to face challenges getting access to it.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved tecovirimat — sold under the brand name Tpoxx — specifically for use against monkeypox, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made the drug available from the Strategic National Stockpile through expanded access during the global outbreak that has caused about 5,800 probable or confirmed cases in the U.S.

Tpoxx was FDA-approved in 2018 as the first drug to treat smallpox, a virus in the same family as monkeypox. The World Health Organization declared smallpox eradicated in 1980, but concerns that the virus could be weaponized drove the U.S. government to stockpile more than 1.7 million courses of the drug in case of a bioterrorism event. Tpoxx is approved in the European Union to treat monkeypox as well as smallpox.

It can be taken intravenously or more commonly as an oral pill.

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