Pharmacy Guild of Australia President, Professor Trent Twomey welcomes the first lot of deliveries of Covid-19 oral treatments from the National Medical Stockpile (NMS).
However, he says more needs to be done to secure additional treatments – a situation, which is currently plagued by global supply chain shortages.
Until there are adequate supplies that can be managed through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), reportedly the first stage will be critical in ensuring high-risk patients have timely access to these treatments, noting they must be commenced within five days of symptom onset or confirmation of a positive case.
There must be suitable arrangements to ensure treatments from the NMS are accessible to communities and patients in need, irrespective of their living arrangements or where they live in Australia.
It’s said that both Lagevrio (Molnupiravir) and Paxlovid (Nirmatrelvir + Ritonavir) will be used to treat mild to moderate Covid-19 cases to prevent deterioration to more severe cases requiring hospitalisation.
“Community pharmacies look forward to receiving the delivery of new Covid-19 oral treatments to help reduce the severity of Covid,” says Professor Twomey.
“Providing at-risk Australians with a treatment option that can be managed in the community will reduce pressures on our hospital system and allow community pharmacies to continue to play an important role on the Covid-19 frontline.
“Each and every community pharmacist will be better armed to help the fight against Covid once supply becomes available.
“We look forward to working with the government on getting more detail around when the Covid oral treatments will be listed on the PBS and can start rolling out to communities around the country.
“Vaccination remains the most effective way to protect yourself and your family, and you can receive your vaccine in a community pharmacy, near where you live.”