(RxWiki News) Pharmacists can now prescribe a potentially life-saving treatment for COVID-19.
This new authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could improve access to Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir).
From the beginning of the pandemic, pharmacists have played a key role in the fight against the virus, the FDA noted in a press release. Now, the agency is empowering pharmacists to keep playing that part.
“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 Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, director for the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a press release.
To make this change, the FDA amended its emergency use authorization (EUA) for Paxlovid to allow state-licensed pharmacists to prescribe the antiviral medication. Some limitations apply to this prescribing power, but the change could shorten the amount of time it takes to get a prescription from a typical visit with a doctor.
According to the FDA, patients who are seeking a prescription for Paxlovid from a pharmacist should bring the following information:
- Recent health records, including blood work that would help the pharmacist screen for liver or kidney problems
- A complete list of medications you are taking, including supplements and other over-the-counter treatments
If a state-licensed pharmacist finds that there is not enough information to safely prescribe Paxlovid, you have a prescription that could interfere with Paxlovid or Paxlovid is not currently considered an appropriate treatment for you, they should refer you for an evaluation with another health care provider.
If you believe you have COVID-19, reach out to your doctor or community pharmacist to discuss your next steps.