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Paxlovid® is PBS listed for treatment of COVID-19 - May 2022

Paxlovid® (nirmatrelvir/ritonavir tablets) is listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1 May 2022, as a treatment for COVID-19. Adults can be prescribed PBS-subsidised Paxlovid® by their doctor or nurse practitioner if they have mild to moderate COVID-19 confirmed by a PCR or medically verified RAT, can start treatment within five days of symptom onset, and:  

  • they are 65 years of age or older, with two other risk factors for severe disease (as increasing age is a risk factor, patients who are 75 years of age of older only need to have one other risk factor); or they identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin, and are 50 years of age or older with two other risk factors for severe disease, or
  • they are moderately to severely immunocompromised.

Paxlovid® is not recommended for use in pregnant or breastfeeding women and in women of childbearing potential who are not using contraception. TGA product information on Paxlovid® is available here.

To prioritise Paxlovid® for patients at highest risk of developing severe COVID-19, prescribers should only prescribe Paxlovid®  in accordance with the PBS eligibility criteria, and are strongly discouraged from providing it via private prescription.

For more information read the PBS factsheet here.

This news item was issued on 6 May 2022 by Jill Smith, CEO of ASCIA, the peak professional body for clinical immunology and allergy in Australia and New Zealand.