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
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
- Oral treatments for COVID-19 | Australian Government Department of Health
- Paxlovid® (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir) PBS listing
- Lagevrio® (molnupiravir) PBS listing
- Medications for patients with COVID-19 | Victorian State Government Department of Health
- Antiviral treatments for COVID-19 |NPS Medicinewise