In late December 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization for antiviral medications to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms for certain patients who are at high risk for progressive to severe complications, including hospitalization or death.
FDA-authorized antiviral medications, including Pfizer’s Paxlovid™ (nirmatrelvir with ritonavir) and Merck’s Lagevrio™ (molnupiravir), are covered by your Express Scripts prescription drug plan.
Antiviral medications target specific parts of the virus to stop it from multiplying in the body, helping to prevent severe illness and death. The treatments are available by prescription only, and the FDA recommends starting treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of symptom onset.
Be sure to tell your health care provider if you have any allergies; have liver or kidney disease; are pregnant or plan to become pregnant; are breastfeeding a child; take birth control pills; or have any serious illness. Additionally, tell your health care provider about all medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.
If you receive a prescription for an antiviral medication from your health care provider, you can fill it at a participating Express Scripts pharmacy. Please call your pharmacy to ensure the medication is available before you arrive.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does Express Scripts cover antiviral medications?
Yes, your Express Scripts prescription drug plan covers FDA-authorized antiviral medications for the treatment of COVID-19.
- Who can prescribe antiviral medications?
Antiviral medications can be prescribed by a physician or clinician for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, are not pregnant and are at risk of disease progression. These medications must be administered within three to five days from the onset of COVID-19 symptoms.
- How do I know if my pharmacy supplies antiviral medications?
Call your pharmacy to find out if it has the prescribed antiviral medication available. You can also search for pharmacies on HealthData.gov, a government website that features a COVID-19 therapeutic locator. If you find a pharmacy using this website, be sure it is a participating Express Scripts pharmacy.
- How can I learn more about antiviral treatments for COVID-19?
Talk to your health care provider and visit the following websites: