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Pharmacists Can Prescribe Pfizer’s Covid Pill Under FDA Order

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 7/6/2022 Robert Langreth
Boxes of Pfizer Inc.’s Paxlovid antiviral medication in a warehouse in Shoham, Israel, on Jan. 18. © Bloomberg Boxes of Pfizer Inc.’s Paxlovid antiviral medication in a warehouse in Shoham, Israel, on Jan. 18.

(Bloomberg) -- Pharmacists will be permitted to prescribe Pfizer Inc.’s Paxlovid under a move by US regulators aimed at providing prompt access to the widely used Covid treatment.

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State-licensed pharmacists can prescribe Paxlovid to eligible patients, subject to certain limitations to assure appropriate treatment, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday in a statement.

“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,” Patrizia Cavazzoni, director for the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in the statement.

People who test positive for Covid should first consider seeking care from their regular doctor or through a Test-to-Treat site in their area, the FDA said.

Video: Pfizer signs new COVID vaccine deal with U.S. (Reuters)

Read More: All About Paxlovid and Other Covid-19 Treatments

Those seeking drug from their pharmacy should bring a complete list of medications so the pharmacist can review potential drug interactions, as well as a blood test result from within the last 12 months, the agency said. 

Pharmacists should refer patients to doctors or other primary care providers if the patient’s existing medication regimen needs to be modified due to possible drug interactions, the FDA said, or if there are questions about the patient’s kidney or liver function.

“We believe that providing patients with a variety of options for obtaining treatment – whether through a physician, nurse practitioner or pharmacist – will help to expand access to Paxlovid and reduce health inequities,” Pfizer said in an emailed statement. The shares rose 1.7% as of 3:07 p.m. in New York. 

(Updates with Pfizer comment in final paragraph.)

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