The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, on Wednesday 6th of July, authorized state-licensed pharmacists to prescribe Paxlovid to eligible patients. This was done to expand the access to timely treatment for patients who need this medication.
Prior to this time, only doctors, nurses, and physician assistants were allowed to prescribe Paxlovid. This restriction often forced patients to spend time looking for a prescriber, and sometimes during this scramble, patients exceed the five-day period studies have shown that Paxlovid will be effective.
For months, the American Pharmacists Association has been lobbying for a change in Emergency Use Authorization (E.U.A.) for Paxlovid, stating that there are over 300,000 licensed pharmacists across the United States, which can help expand access to Paxlovid treatment.
Finally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revised the Emergency Use Authorization (E.U.A.) for Paxlovid to allow pharmacists to prescribe these pills. According to Patrizia Cavazzoni, M.D., director for the F.D.A.’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, “The F.D.A. recognizes the important role pharmacists have played and continue to play in combating this pandemic.”
“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,” Patrizia said in a press statement.
However, there were certain limitations to this prescription license to ensure appropriate patient assessment and prescribing of Paxlovid. State licensed pharmacists can only prescribe Paxlovid to patients with records of recent reports of laboratory blood work and a list of all the medications they are taking. This is done so pharmacists can review for potential liver and kidney problems and screen for drugs that might have a severe interaction with Paxlovid.
According to the Agency, pharmacists should refer patients with insufficient information to assess liver and kidney function or potential drug interaction to other health care professionals authorized under state law to prescribe drugs for clinical evaluation.