New Medication to Treat COVID-19

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From Sunday 1st May 2022, a new medication, PAXLOVID, will be available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) to treat some adults who have contracted COVID-19.

More specifically, the medication, which is made by Pfizer, will be utilized for adults:

  • with mild-moderate COVID-19 disease and within five days of the onset of symptoms
  • who do not need supplemental oxygen
  • who are over 65 years of age with risk factors for severe disease or are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people who are 50 years of age or older.

Pfizer Australia & New Zealand Managing Director, Anne Harris, said the listing was another important milestone in the fight against COVID-19.

“While vaccination remains the most effective way to help prevent COVID-19, we know we need to tackle the virus on many fronts. PAXLOVID provides an important second line of defence for those most at risk. Simpler access to PAXLOVID means patients can access this important oral treatment at home,” Ms Harris said.

Pfizer Australia and New Zealand Medical Director, Dr Krishan Thiru, said “PAXLOVID is a first-of-its-kind oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19 specifically designed to combat SARS-CoV-2.

“This antiviral treatment works by slowing or stopping the virus from replicating, which may help reduce the risk of significant health consequences seen more commonly in people at higher risk.

“It’s important to get tested for COVID-19 at the first sign of symptoms, especially for people at higher risk. If they are COVID-19 positive, they can seek medical advice quickly and find out what treatment may be appropriate for them,” Dr Thiru said.

PAXLOVID is an oral treatment taken twice-daily for five days. It should be taken as soon as possible after a diagnosis of COVID-19, and within five days of symptoms appearing.

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