COVID-19 Medications

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved the oral anti-viral treatments Paxlovid® (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir) and Lagevrio® (molnupiravir) for use in Australia for people with COVID-19. Both are available via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

These anti-viral medicines can be prescribed by a General Practitioner or Nurse Practitioner to people in the community who may be at risk of developing more COVID-19 severe symptoms.

How to prescribe COVID anti-viral medications

Paxlovid and Lagevrio can be prescribed to people who are:

  • 65 years or older with two additional high-risk factors for developing severe disease
  • 75 years or older with one additional high-risk factor for developing severe disease
  • Moderately to severely immunocompromised people irrespective of vaccination status
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years or older with two additional high-risk factors for developing severe disease.

When determining whether to prescribe a COVID anti-viral, the following criteria must be considered:

  • Patients can only be commenced on these medications in the first five days of symptoms
  • A longer appointment will be necessary to prescribe these medications as a comprehensive history is required
  • The pharmacist will have to be able to contact the patient who is being prescribed the medication to complete an assessment
  • Ensure the use of contraception is discussed for both males and females of childbearing age

Pharmacy helpline

Victorian Government Department of Health has launched a pharmacy helpline to support PBS prescribers in the prescription of oral antivirals to COVID-19 patients within the community.

Victorian PBS prescribers such as GPs and nurse practitioners can use the helpline to speak with Alfred Health pharmacists experienced in the prescribing of COVID-19 early therapies.

The helpline is available seven day a week between 8am-5pm and can be contacted on (03) 8290 3801

Prescribing resources and support

Other resources

Last modified: 26 May, 2022