english.prescrire.org > Annual Prescrire Awards > The Prescrire Awards for 2021 > The Prescrire Drug Awards for 2021 > 2021 Drug Awards > Comirnaty° (tozinameran) and Spikevax° (élasomeran): Pilules d'Or (Golden Pill) 2021

The Prescrire Awards for 2021

The Prescrire Drug Awards for 2021

The Prescrire Drug Awards for 2021
 Pilules d'Or  Comirnaty° (tozinameran) and Spikevax° (elasomeran)

Le Palmarès des Médicaments A  Pilule d'Or  (Golden Pill) is granted to drugs that represent a major therapeutic advance in a field in which no treatment was previously available.

Two drugs examined in 2021 represent a major therapeutic advance worthy of a Pilule d'Or (Golden Pill Award).

• COMIRNATY° (tozinameran) BioNTech/Pfizer

• SPIKEVAX° (elasomeran) Moderna

Tozinameran, elasomeran and covid­-19: marked reduction in the risk of developing symptomatic disease, including severe disease.

One of the key developments of 2021 was the advent of several covid-19 vaccines. Two of them are based on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA): tozinameran (Comirnaty°, BioNTech and Pfizer) and elasomeran (Spikevax°, Moderna).

In trials conducted in 2020 during the pandemic in tens of thousands of people, these two vaccines greatly reduced the risk of developing symptomatic covid-19 in the short term. Numerous epidemiological studies conducted in 2020 and 2021 showed these vaccines to be effective at preventing severe forms of covid-19 during the months following vaccination, including covid-19 caused by most of the Sars-CoV-2 variants circulating in 2021. One major unknown is how effective they will be against any new variants that emerge.

These vaccines' efficacy in adolescents is probably similar to that in adults. But as covid-19 is rarely serious in adolescence, vaccination is of more limited personal benefit in this age group. Mass vaccination probably benefits everyone, by reducing the societal effects of the epidemic.

As with other vaccines, the main short-term adverse effects of tozinameran and elasomeran are frequent local and systemic reactions. Very rare cases of pericarditis and myocarditis were reported during the vaccination campaigns, especially in adolescents and young men. Most cases resolved within a few days. The other serious adverse effects reported after receiving one of these vaccines were mainly hypersensitivity reactions, Guillain-Barré syndrome, acquired haemophilia and viral reactivation. Unknowns remain over their possible long-term adverse effects.

These two vaccines represented a major therapeutic advance in the context of the covid-19 pandemic in 2021, and both have therefore been awarded a Pilule d'Or. They constitute an additional means of prevention, alongside measures such as physical distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene, and the use of face masks.

A Pilule d'Or (Golden Pill) is granted to drugs that represent a major therapeutic advance in a field in which no treatment was previously available. Drugs included on the Honours List constitute a clear advance for some patients compared with existing therapeutic options, albeit with limitations. Drugs deemed "Noteworthy" provide a modest improvement in patient care.
SEE: > About the Prescrire Drug Awards for 2021

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 FREE  "The Prescrire Awards for 2021" Prescrire International 2022; 31 (235): 79-82. (pdf, free)


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©Prescrire February 2022

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