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COVID-19 TREATMENT

Neergaard pharmacists can now prescribe and dispense Paxlovid®, an oral COVID-19 antiviral medication used to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 infection, under certain conditions for eligible patients who test positive for COVID-19.  

How we determine eligibility for treatment

To be eligible for this service, you should:

  • Have tested positive for COVID-19 and are within 5 days of symptom onset
  • Have not yet been admitted to the hospital
  • Have one or more risk factors for developing severe COVID-19 illness
  • Be at least 12 years old and weigh at least 88 pounds
  • Have had blood work completed within the last 12 months (including blood work that assesses your liver and kidney function) and blood work is available for pharmacist review during your clinical assessment
  • Not have kidney or liver disease

Costs and payment information

While there is no cost for the Paxlovid medication if prescribed, there is a $60 dollars charge for the clinical assessment. The $60 fee will be charged even if you are deemed ineligible for Paxlovid. The $60 fee can be paid by cash or health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA) card. 

Why is it important for patients to have access to Paxlovid®?

Paxlovid is authorized for individuals who are at risk of progression to severe COVID-19 disease, including hospitalization or death. This medication must be initiated in eligible, high-risk individuals within 5 days of mild to moderate COVID-19 symptom onset. In a study conducted by Pfizer https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer-announces-additional-phase-23-study-results, Paxlovid significantly reduced the risk of death and hospitalizations by 89% compared to placebo in nonhospitalized and high-risk adult patients who were treated within the initial 3 days of symptoms onset. Despite the emergence COVID-19 variants, Paxlovid still serves as a valuable therapeutic option for eligible patients. Therefore, increasing timely access to Paxlovid is critical.

What is the process?

Patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms who have already tested positive can call Neergaard Pharmacy for an over-the-phone assessment with a pharmacist or can walk in during pharmacy hours for an in-person clinical assessment. Based on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, our pharmacist will determine patient eligibility for clinical assessment and potential prescribing by a pharmacist. If for any reason a patient is deemed ineligible for a pharmacist consultation, they may be referred to a to a primary care provider. Eligible patients who receive a pharmacist assessment and prescription for Paxlovid may have the prescription filled at Neergaard Pharmacy or another pharmacy of their choice. Patients must meet all eligibility requirements as defined by the FDA, and not all pharmacist assessments will result in a prescription. The cost for patients who are seeking assessment and treatment by a Neergaard Pharmacist is $60, which is collected via credit/debit card at the time of the clinical assessment. Patients may also use health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA) funds to pay for the assessment. There is no cost to the patient for the oral antiviral medication Paxlovid, if prescribed.

Are all COVID-19 positive patients eligible to receive a Paxlovid prescription?

Under the FDA's Emergency Use Authorization https://www.pfizer.com/products/product-detail/paxlovidtm, only patients with an increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 side effects are eligible for Paxlovid. This includes people who have tested positive for COVID-19; who have not yet been admitted to the hospital; are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19 symptoms; are age 12 or older (and weigh at least 88 pounds) and, for pharmacist prescribing, have certain blood work dated within the last 12 months available for review.

Do positive at home COVID-19 tests qualify for a prescription?

Yes.  Patients who are symptomatic and report a positive test result from an FDA-authorized rapid antigen diagnostic test or a PCR test to the prescriber are eligible for Paxlovid if they meet other eligibility criteria when assessed. Confirmation of a positive rapid antigen diagnostic test with additional direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing (such as a PCR) is not required.  

Proof of a positive COVID-19 test is not required, and a patient’s report of a positive COVID-19 test is considered sufficient.

Why is Neergaard Pharmacy charging COVID-19 assessment and Paxlovid prescribing?

Unfortunately, patient care services provided by pharmacists are not covered by Medicare or certain state Medicaid plans, and we are unable to bill for these services. Therefore, patients seeking COVID-19 assessment and treatment by a Neergaard pharmacist will have to pay for this service out of pocket. The fee, like those charged for other medical visits, covers the time spent reviewing the patient’s medical record, consulting with the patient and the patient’s health care team (if needed), and documenting the visit information in the patient’s medical chart. 

In recent years, pharmacists’ clinical ability has been recognized, leading states to increase patient access to care through pharmacy services. Ultimately, the FDA’s decision to allow pharmacists to prescribe Paxlovid gives pharmacies the ability to increase access to high-quality and affordable COVID-19 care, giving pharmacists the opportunity to further practice at the top of their training and education and to be reimbursed for this important clinical work.

Neergaard Pharmacy is committed to providing safe, high-quality care that meets clinical prescribing guidelines. Prescriptions are not guaranteed and are only provided if clinically appropriate.

Learn more about Paxlovid

Click below to learn more about Paxlovid 

https://www.fda.gov/media/155051/download?icid=pax-fda-factsheet.

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