© 2022 WLRN
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

US allows pharmacists to prescribe Pfizer's COVID-19 pill

The Pfizer COVID treatment Paxlovid can be a challenge to get quickly.
Fabian Sommer
Picture Alliance via Getty Images
The Pfizer COVID treatment Paxlovid can be a challenge to get quickly.

U.S. pharmacists can now prescribe the leading COVID-19 pill directly to patients.

The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday that pharmacists can begin screening patients to see if they are eligible and then prescribe Pfizer's drug Paxlovid.

Previously, only doctors could prescribe it.

Paxlovid has been shown to curb the worst effects of COVID-19 but it has to be started within five days of symptoms.

Paxlovid is intended for people with COVID-19 who are more likely to become seriously ill. That includes older people and those with other health conditions.

Expanding the test-to-treat program to include pharmacists could add thousands of additional options for patients. The two biggest U.S. drugstore chains — CVS Health and Walgreens — run around 19,000 locations combined.

There also are nearly 19,400 independent pharmacies not tied to a big chain, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association.

Click here to read more of this article from the Associated Press.

Copyright 2022 Health News Florida. To see more, visit .

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.