Pharmacists in Ontario allowed to prescribe Paxlovid

As of December 12, pharmacists in Ontario are allowed to prescribe Paxlovid to eligible individuals in-person or virtually (such as by telephone) at no cost. 

Paxlovid is an antiviral treatment option used to reduce severe outcomes from COVID-19. 

Eligible individuals should contact their local pharmacy to confirm if they prescribe Paxlovid and how to get a prescription for it.

“Authorizing pharmacists to prescribe Paxlovid will expand access and offer increased protection to the most vulnerable and mitigate pressures on the province’s hospital capacity,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “I continue to strongly recommend that everyone across the province stays up to date on their vaccinations as it is the most effective way we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from the most serious effects of COVID-19.”

Eligibility for Paxlovid includes symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19, a positive lab-based PCR, rapid molecular, or rapid antigen test (including rapid tests done at home).

The prescribing occurs within five days of symptom onset.

The individual receiving the prescription should be 60 years of age or older or immunocompromised (and above the age of 18) or 18 to 59 years old and at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes including having chronic medical conditions (such as diabetes, heart or lung disease) or inadequate immunity against COVID-19 (i.e., not up-to-date on vaccines).

Paxlovid prescriptions also remain available through any physician or nurse practitioner in Ontario as well as clinical assessment centres across the province. Individuals with complex health conditions may need to see their primary care provider or go to a clinical assessment centre for Paxlovid, based on the clinical judgement of the pharmacist.

Individuals who are part of higher risk groups and who have COVID-19 symptoms should immediately seek testing and care by contacting their health care provider, visiting a clinical assessment centre, calling Health Connect Ontario at 811 or 1-866-797-0007 (toll-free TTY), or contacting a local pharmacist.

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