June 19th, 2024

B.C. government to pay for COVID-19 drug Paxlovid after feds drop coverage

By The Canadian Press on May 30, 2024.

Doses of the antiviral drug Paxlovid are displayed in New York, on Monday, Aug. 1, 2022. British Columbia will cover the cost of an antiviral drug aimed at treating mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 as the federal government ends its coverage. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Stephanie Nano

VICTORIA – British Columbia will cover the cost of an antiviral drug aimed at treating mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 as the federal government ends its coverage.

A statement from B.C.’s Health Ministry says the province will provide 100 per cent coverage for the treatment sold under the brand name Paxlovid, for B.C. residents with an active medical services plan.

A provincial government web page says the change took effect on Tuesday, after the federal government stopped supplying Paxlovid in March, and pharmacies are to obtain Paxlovid supplies from their wholesaler.

The Health Ministry says the drug is recommended for people at higher risk of serious illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19, such as those who are immunocompromised.

It says treatment with Paxlovid must begin within five days of the start of symptoms to be effective and can help prevent symptoms getting worse.

The ministry adds that a spring booster vaccine for COVID-19 has been available for B.C. residents since early April.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 30, 2024.

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