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Pharmacist-Prescribed Paxlovid for COVID-19 Now Available at CVS

CVS is the first pharmacy to offer this service nationwide.

Pharmacists working at more than 9000 CVS pharmacist locations can now clinically evaluate patients who are positive for COVID-19 and can—if those patients are eligible—prescribe nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid) oral antiviral treatment, according to a CVS press release.1 This follows an earlier FDA decision recognizing the clinical capabilities of pharmacists.2 CVS Pharmacy is the first to offer this service nationwide.

“Enabling pharmacists to evaluate patients and prescribe Paxlovid when clinically appropriate increases patient access and reduces barriers to care and treatment for those who need it,” said Prem Shah, PharmD, executive vice president at CVS Health and president and chief pharmacy officer at CVS Pharmacy. “Paxlovid has proven to be an important tool in the fight against COVID-19 by helping to reduce the severity of symptoms in patients at high risk for severe cases of the illness.”

Patients who are symptomatic and have tested positive for COVID-19 can seek care and treatment through the CVS website or mobile app. Before being assessed by a pharmacist, patients will need to complete an online screening questionnaire to determine their eligibility for oral antiviral treatment.

In order for CVS pharmacists to prescribe nirmatrelvir/ritonavir to an eligible patient, that patient must have had certain bloodwork performed in the past 12 months; supporting documentation must be provided. Pharmacists must also review kidney and liver blood test values before prescribing Paxlovid.

Patients seeking evaluation and treatment for COVID-19 from CVS pharmacists are, according to the release, responsible for upfront payment which varies based on insurance coverage.

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“One of the important benefits of this service is the convenience it affords our patients,” Shah added. “We are already seeing that some patients can log into the digital scheduler, schedule an appointment, be evaluated by a pharmacist, and receive their medication in just a few hours, which is critical for this medication to be effective.”

In addition to these clinical services, CVS pharmacy has also ensured that stores have stocked an “ample supply” of at-home COVID-19 test kits, including a new CVS Health-branded test featuring a QR code and instructions on how to receive a pharmacist assessment if the test is positive.

References

  1. Pharmacist prescribing of COVID-19 antiviral treatment now available at CVS Pharmacy. News release. CVS Health. November 15, 2022. Accessed November 18, 2022. https://www.cvshealth.com/news-and-insights/press-releases/pharmacist-prescribing-of-covid-19-antiviral-treatment-now
  2. Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: FDA authorizes pharmacists to prescribe Paxlovid with certain limitations. News release. July 6, 2022. Accessed November 18, 2022. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-authorizes-pharmacists-prescribe-paxlovid-certain-limitations

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