FDA Allows Pharmacists to Prescribe Pfizer’s COVID-19 Pill Nationwide

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally allowed state-licensed pharmacists to prescribe Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill, Paxlovid, to eligible individuals nationwide.

The FDA advised those who test positive for Covid-19 to first consult with their regular doctor or locate a nearby test-to-treat facility where they can acquire a prescription from a doctor.

“Since Paxlovid must be taken within five days after symptoms begin, authorizing state-licensed pharmacists to prescribe Paxlovid could expand access to timely treatment for some patients who are eligible to receive this drug for the treatment of COVID-19,” said the director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni.

According to the FDA, infected individuals who want to purchase Paxlovid from a pharmacist must have with them electronic or printed health records that are no older than 12 months, blood work to check for kidney or liver issues, and a list of all medications being taken, both prescription and over-the-counter, to check for drug interactions. 

Paxlovid is approved to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults over 12 who have tested positive for Covid-19 and are at high risk for developing severe COVID. 

In Pfizer’s clinical trial, which excluded those who had received the vaccine, Paxlovid, a two-drug regimen given for five days soon after the onset of COVID-19 symptoms, reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 88 percent in non-hospitalized, high-risk adult patients.

The American Pharmacists Association Interim Executive Vice President Ilisa BG Bernstein said that “Opening the door for pharmacists as prescribers will open the door to equitable access at pharmacies in communities across the country.”

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