How to find a pharmacy for the COVID-19 antiviral medications

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Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 7:33 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - If you get COVID-19 and you get prescribed the COVID-19 pill it may be difficult for you to find. WALB News 10′s Nathalie Moreau spoke with local doctors and they explained who would be able to receive treatment.

”As patients come in and they are testing positive for COVID, if they are considered individuals that are at higher risk of developing significant diseases, we then talk to them about treatment options,” said Dr. Derek Heard, Medical Director for Primary Care for Phoebe Physician Group.

U Save It pharmacist, Dr. Betsy Urick explains who is considered high risk.

“And who are specifically more at risk, they are who have more immunocompromising conditions or conditions that might make them more at risk with COVID-19 so things like diabetes and things like that. These patients are now able to get a medication,” said Urick.

Dr. Betsy Urick- Pharmacist at U Save It
Dr. Betsy Urick- Pharmacist at U Save It(WALB)

“Paxlovid is the one that is going to be available for those who are over 12 and the Molnupiravir is going to be available for the ones who are over 18,” said Urick.

Dr. Heard is the medical director for primary care for Phoebe Physician Group. He says there are more than just respiratory symptoms that older patients should be looking out for.

“Something that I’ve noticed recently in our older patients is they may not have any of those symptoms. They may just complain of fatigue or loss of appetite so if you are having those you need to contact your provider to see if it’s possible that you could have COVID and whether or not you can see if it’s possible that you can have COVID and whatever or not you need to be tested,” said Urick.

Urick explains why it is so important to catch symptoms early.

“If you have had that diagnosis and you’re early in your treatment because we want to make sure that this treatment comes within the first five days of symptoms you can see your doctor and you would need to get a prescription,” said Urick.

Dr. Heard says the first form of protection against COVID hasn’t changed.

Dr. Derek Heard- Medical Director for Primary Care for Phoebe Physician Group
Dr. Derek Heard- Medical Director for Primary Care for Phoebe Physician Group(WALB)

“We can hopefully prevent you from getting COVID if you take the vaccine so I still push vaccines first. but this is an alternative once you catch it that you can take the oral antivirals,” said Dr. Heard.

You can call (229) 312-MYMD to see if you qualify for antiviral and monoclonal treatments that you can receive at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

After you get COVID-19, it can be hard to find FDA-approved pharmacies that carry antiviral pills.

”They have made a couple of oral antiviral medications available on a more outpatient at the pharmacy basis,” said Urick.

“Paxlovid is the one that is going to be available for those who are over 12 and the Molnupiravir is going to be available for the ones who are over 18. Again, you do have to have a COVID-19 diagnosis but if you do and you have a prescription this can then give you an idea of where you can find them,” said Urick.

The FDA designated pharmacies that are recognized as Good Neighbor Pharmacies to receive the antiviral pills.

“The pharmacies that are currently being allocated the new oral antiviral medications are gonna be Walgreens, Walmart, and Good Neighbor Pharmacies. Now that does not mean all of them will have it, only a few Walgreens and only a few Walmarts will have that medication,” said Urick.

You can find out where the medication is distributed through Good Neighbor Pharmacies on the Department of Human Services website.

“If you click on the COVD-19 information you should find an area that says oral antiviral medication availability. And so if you click on that, it’ll take you to a map of the state and you can kind of zoom into to where you are currently located,” said Urick.

U SAVE IT Pharmacy
U SAVE IT Pharmacy(WALB)

If you do not currently get your medication from a Good Neighbor Pharmacy, U Save It Pharmacies are more than happy to assist you.

“We can certainly be a liaison and help you find where you can locate it so that say you don’t have a lot of computers experience we can definitely be that tool for you to help you find and make sure that you get the medication,” said Urick.

Click here to locate a pharmacy in your area.

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