Important information about COVID antiviral supplies
Supplies of oral COVID-19 Antivirals from pharmacies
In September 2022, NHS England wrote to all Integrated Care Boards to ask them to plan for sustainable community access to COVID-19 treatments for individuals at highest risk of hospitalisation, to ensure ongoing local service provision and to support transition to more sustainable services over the longer term.
Working with Community Pharmacy Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire ICB has agreed to use a prescription model, where patients are triaged by Lincolnshire Clinical Assessment Service (CAS) who will then issue a prescription for the patient.
Do I need to order stock of Paxlovid®?
At this moment, we are asking pharmacies not to order stock of Pavloxid® (or any other COVID-19 antiviral) unless presented with a prescription for this. Although stock is currently being funded directly by DHSC and so is free of charge, we need to ensure stability of the supply chain and ensure that stock is available when and where it is needed.
Currently, the volume of oral COVID-19 antivirals is quite low. However, you and your pharmacy team should be aware of the potential for receiving prescriptions for Paxlovid® (Nirmatrelvir 150mg and Ritonavir 100mg) tablets.
These prescriptions may be issued as EPSr4 prescriptions and so may not appear with your usual downloads; they can be found through the EPS tracker or your pharmacies usual methods for finding prescriptions on the NHS spine.
We are working with the ICB to agree a process for some pharmacies to hold stocks of these medicines and will update you once this is finalised.
How do I order stock?
If you are presented with a prescription for Paxlovid®, you can order stock using your usual process from Alliance Healthcare. Details are in the attached Q&A document from Lincolnshire ICB.
Do I need to provide any additional information to patients’ representatives when collecting prescriptions for Paxlovid®?
Pharmacy teams should follow their usual SOPs for supplying antimicrobial medicines, and ensure that patients (or their representatives) understand how to take these safely, that the course is completed, and some key advice about side effects. As Paxlovid® is a ‘black triangle’ drug, all adverse reactions should be reported. More information is included in the Q&A document.
Download the Question and Answer document regarding COVID-19 antivirals from the ICB here.