State of Michigan receives first limited supply of oral COVID-19 drug

Coronavirus

This image provided by Pfizer in October 2021 shows the company’s COVID-19 Paxlovid pills. Newly infected COVID-19 patients have two new treatment options that can be taken at home. But that convenience comes with a catch: The pills have to be taken as soon as possible once symptoms appear. (Pfizer via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The State of Michigan has received its first shipment of the new oral COVID-19 treatments.

The drug, paxlovid and molnupiravir, recently obtained emergency use authorization by the FDA.

The antiviral pills are designed for mild-to-moderate outpatient treatment of COVID-19. Both are only obtainable through a prescription.

Studies have shown that when taken within 5 days of symptom onset, the pills reduce symptoms and risk of hospitalizations.

Due to the limited quantity of these drugs, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) developed eligibility criteria and prescribing requirements.

“The authorization of these new medications provides another important tool to help fight the virus,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director in a press release. “Due to limited availability of these antivirals, health care providers will need to determine the best course of treatment for their patients based on eligibility criteria. We ask Michiganders to be patient as providers will prioritize people at highest risk for developing serious illness from the virus. We are committed to distributing these pills equitably across the state, and access will increase as Michigan receives more allocations from the federal government.”

Priority Eligibility Criteria will remain in effect until supply is able to meet demand and will be periodically reviewed.

Paxlovid currently has limited availability through the following sites:

  • Selected Federally Qualified Health Centers and Tribal Health Centers.
  • Selected Meijer Pharmacies in southeast and east central Michigan.

Molnupiravir currently has limited availability through the following sites:

  • All Meijer Pharmacies (based on supply).
  • Selected retail pharmacies in areas not served by Meijer (based on supply).

Additional information on oral antiviral medications and monoclonal antibody therapy, including priority eligibility criteria based on MDHHS scare resource allocation principles is available at Michigan.gov/COVIDTherapy.

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