COVID antiviral pill Paxlovid available in the mail

San Francisco-based primary and emergency care provider Carbon Health has partnered with COVID test maker Detect to announce a new service that will allow people to self-test, consult a doctor online or over the phone who may have antiviral pills can prescribe and have the pills delivered β€” all without leaving home.

The service brings home the approach of the federal government’s statewide “Test to Treat” program β€” which allows people to visit state facilities to get tested and, if eligible, receive prescription antiviral pills on-site. It marks another evolution in COVID treatment as the virus continues on its way to becoming a more normal, “endemic” part of our lives.

Just a few months ago, the antiviral pill Paxlovid was scarce and was only given to people who were severely immunocompromised. In recent weeks, that has changed as the pills are increasingly available in pharmacies for people with a wider range of less serious conditions. Now, the launch of Paxlovid is beginning to follow a similar path to the earlier launch of COVID test kits: first very difficult to find, then more accessible, and finally available through websites and mail order.

Big players in the healthcare industry make Paxlovid available for delivery, although they generally urge patients to pick up the pills at a pharmacy or send a caregiver to pick them up, as this is often faster and more reliable. Paxlovid treatment must be started within five days of symptom onset and only after a positive COVID test result.

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