The oral COVID-19 therapeutics nirmatrelvir with ritonavir (Paxlovid™) and molnupiravir (Lagevrio®) are being reclassified from prescription-only medicines to restricted medicines, enabling pharmacists to supply to those who meet Pharmac’s criteria. It is anticipated this change will come into effect from 28 July 2022. Te Whatu Ora will send out invitations to participating pharmacists shortly to join online training on Tuesday 26 July at 7.30pm-9.30pm about these changes.
From today, 18 July 2022, access to COVID-19 therapeutics has been widened. It now includes all people aged 75 years and over, and those who have been admitted previously to an intensive care unit as a direct result of COVID-19. The factors Māori and Pacific Peoples are required to have to access these antiviral treatments have also been reduced. Full access criteria can be found here.
Last week, the Government announced that people at a higher risk of acute respiratory illness from COVID-19 who meet Pharmac’s therapeutics criteria are now able to get a prescription from their doctor for COVID-19 medicines before they get COVID-19. This means the prescription is ready to use if they become unwell. Advance supply is not available via a pharmacy.