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Effectiveness of COVID-19 Treatment With Nirmatrelvir-Ritonavir or Molnupiravir Among U.S. Veterans: Target Trial Emulation Studies With One-Month and Six-Month Outcomes.

Bajema KL, Berry K, Streja E, Rajeevan N, Li Y, Mutalik P, Yan L, Cunningham F, Hynes DM, Rowneki M, Bohnert A, Boyko EJ, Iwashyna TJ, Maciejewski ML, Osborne TF, Viglianti EM, Aslan M, Huang GD, Ioannou GN. Effectiveness of COVID-19 Treatment With Nirmatrelvir-Ritonavir or Molnupiravir Among U.S. Veterans: Target Trial Emulation Studies With One-Month and Six-Month Outcomes. Annals of internal medicine. 2023 Jun 1; 176(6):807-816.

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BACKGROUND: Information about the effectiveness of oral antivirals in preventing short- and long-term COVID-19-related outcomes in the setting of Omicron variant transmission and COVID-19 vaccination is limited. OBJECTIVE: To measure the effectiveness of nirmatrelvir-ritonavir and molnupiravir for outpatient treatment of COVID-19. DESIGN: Three retrospective target trial emulation studies comparing matched cohorts of nirmatrelvir-ritonavir versus no treatment, molnupiravir versus no treatment, and nirmatrelvir-ritonavir versus molnupiravir. SETTING: Veterans Health Administration (VHA). PARTICIPANTS: Nonhospitalized veterans in VHA care who were at risk for severe COVID-19 and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 during January through July 2022. INTERVENTION: Nirmatrelvir-ritonavir or molnupiravir pharmacotherapy. MEASUREMENTS: Incidence of any hospitalization or all-cause mortality at 30 days and from 31 to 180 days. RESULTS: Eighty-seven percent of participants were male; the median age was 66 years, and 18% were unvaccinated. Compared with matched untreated control participants, those treated with nirmatrelvir-ritonavir (? = 9607) had lower 30-day risk for hospitalization (22.07 vs. 30.32 per 1000 participants; risk difference [RD], -8.25 [95% CI, -12.27 to -4.23] per 1000 participants) and death (1.25 vs. 5.47 per 1000 participants; RD, -4.22 [CI, -5.45 to -3.00] per 1000 participants). Among persons alive at day 31, reductions were seen in 31- to 180-day incidence of death (hazard ratio, 0.66 [CI, 0.49 to 0.89]) but not hospitalization (subhazard ratio, 0.90 [CI, 0.79 to 1.02]). Molnupiravir-treated participants (? = 3504) had lower 30-day and 31- to 180-day risks for death (3.14 vs. 13.56 per 1000 participants at 30 days; RD, -10.42 [CI, -13.49 to -7.35] per 1000 participants; hazard ratio at 31 to 180 days, 0.67 [CI, 0.48 to 0.95]) but not hospitalization. A difference in 30-day or 31- to 180-day risk for hospitalization or death was not observed between matched nirmatrelvir- or molnupiravir-treated participants. LIMITATION: The date of COVID-19 symptom onset for most veterans was unknown. CONCLUSION: Nirmatrelvir-ritonavir was effective in reducing 30-day hospitalization and death. Molnupiravir was associated with a benefit for 30-day mortality but not hospitalization. Further reductions in mortality from 31 to 180 days were observed with both antivirals. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

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