Pharmacists in Ohio can now prescribe COVID-19 drugs Paxlovid

It may be a little easier now to get the Paxlovid antiviral pill in northeast Ohio to help fight COVID-19 without seeing a doctor.

Pharmacists can now prescribe the drug after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared it on Wednesday.

Previously, only doctors could prescribe the antiviral drug.

But call your pharmacy before you go, because not all pharmacists in Ohio are prescribing the drug yet, said Cameron McNamee, director of policy and communications at the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.

“Everyone is still thinking about implementation,” McNamee said.

Pharmacists can now prescribe Paxlovid directly to patients at risk of developing severe symptoms. The drug should be taken within the first five days of COVID-19 infection to reduce the risk of severe symptoms.

“It’s going to be a bit of a change for a lot of Ohio State pharmacists because they’re given this prescribing power,” McNamee said.

The change was made to expand the use of Pfizer’s drug, which has been shown to curb the worst effects of COVID-19.

Calls to a Cleveland Rite-Aid and MetroHealth’s main campus revealed that they were not yet prescribing Paxlovid in their pharmacies.

Some patients reported having difficulty obtaining prescriptions for the drugs.

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