White House expands access to COVID-19 antiviral pills
Starting this week, the Administration will allow all pharmacies in the federal pharmacy program to order free oral antiviral treatments directly from the federal government, the White House announced today. The Administration hopes to double the number of participating pharmacies to 40,000 in the coming weeks, and to launch new Test-to-Treat locations that offer the Pfizer and Merck pills, which the Food and Drug Administration authorized in December to treat COVID-19 in patients at risk of progressing to severe disease. Pharmacies also can continue to receive the pills through their state or territorial health department. The Administration said it is working to improve the Test-to-Treat patient experience, including through telehealth options; and to provide more guidance on COVID-19 treatments to prescribers and clinicians.