“I think there was a lot of success abroad – particularly in Japan where this drug was developed. So, I think that’s what allowed the FDA to rush it through,” said Dr. Zane Saul.
Xo-fluza is for patients 12 and older who show symptoms for no more than 48 hours.
It’s a fast-acting single pill flu medicine, specifically, for uncomplicated cases.
“This is for you and me who don’t want to be home with a nagging flu. We want to get on something that’s going to get us better fast and get us back to our productive lives again,” said the Chair of Infectious Diseases at Bridgeport Hospital.
“What they found is that it relieves symptoms within 50 hours as compared to over 80 hours for placebo, so that’s the big difference. The other big difference we find is that there is a three logged reduction of the virus by the second day,” he added.
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Doctors warn though, this new treatment option is not a replacement for the yearly flu vaccine.
“This is not for prevention, this is for treatment,” Dr. Saul stressed.
He added that side effects are minimal.
Still, critics state there is a lack of data saying it’s unclear if the benefits will be worth the risks or costs.
The price is $150. The company said it will offer coupons to help lower the cost.
The drug should be available within weeks.