Limited supply of “COVID-19 Pill” arrives in Michigan

LANSING – Today the State of Michigan received a limited supply of new oral COVID-19 medications  to treat COVID-19. The drugs are called Paxlovid and Molnupiravir and are the first oral medications of its kind being offered to the public. This is after the FDA, approved its use under emergency use authorization.

The antivirals are for treatment of mild to moderate  COVID-19 symptoms and are administered to non-hospitalized patients withing five days of the onset of symptoms, helping to reduce or minimize the risk of hospitalization and emergency department visits.  Because of limited supply of these antiviral medications, the Michigan Department Of Health and Human Services has developed eligibility criteria and prescribing requirements for these antiviral medications. “The authorization of these new medications provides another important tool to help fight the virus,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “Due to limited availability of these antivirals, health care providers will need to determine the best course of treatment for their patients based on eligibility criteria. We ask Michiganders to be patient as providers will prioritize people at highest risk for developing serious illness from the virus. We are committed to distributing these pills equitably across the state, and access will increase as Michigan receives more allocations from the federal government  Priority elgibility requirements for therapeutics, including antiviral medication and monoclonal antibody therapy (mAb), will remain in effect until the supply is able to meet the demand, and will be periodically reviewed as appropriate.

The Michigan Department Of Human Health Services Continues to highly recommend receiving all authorized vaccinations along with booster shots as a best defense against the virus.

“It’s important to remember these drugs are not a substitution for protecting yourself by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public places,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Getting vaccinated continues to be the best protection against severe illness and hospitalization, and we urge all Michiganders over age 5 to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Continue to wear well-fitting masks over your nose and mouth, test and social distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19, avoid large gatherings and get vaccinated and boosted if you haven’t already.”

 

Treatment with mAb is still an important tool in therapy for mild to moderate COVID-19 infection and symptoms and is the preferred option for treatment with Molnupiravir when it can be readily accessed. Based on current reserch and evidence, mAb therapy is a strong alternative to Paxlovid for patients who do not have access to the oral medication, have contraindications to the medication (e.g., pregnancy), or are beyond five days (but within 10 days) of symptom onset. Treatment with mAb is considered for patients who are in the eligible lower risk tiers in the Priority Eligibility Criteria.

In patients 12 years of age and older, Paxlovid is indicated as treatment for mild to moderate COVID-19 and for those individuals who are at a higher risk for developing more severe COVID-19 symptoms, to include hospitalization and death, and who also meet the Priority Eligibility Requirements.

 

The following websites have currently limited availability to include:

  • Selected Federally Qualified Health Centers and Tribal Health Centers.
  • Selected Meijer Pharmacies in southeast and east central Michigan.

Molnupiravir is for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms in adults 18 and older who are at high risk of developing  severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death  when other  alternative COVID-19 treatment options authorized by FDA are not accessible or clinically appropriate, and who meet the current Priority Eligibility Criteria.

The following websites have currently limited availability of Molnupiravir to include:

  • All Meijer Pharmacies (based on supply).
  • Selected retail pharmacies in areas not served by Meijer (based on supply).

Additional information on oral antiviral medications and monoclonal antibody therapy, including priority eligibility criteria based on MDHHS scare resource allocation principles is available at Michigan.gov/COVIDTherapy.

 

For  more information about the COVID-19 vaccine visit  Michigan.gov/COVIDvaccine.

 

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