Oral treatments for COVID-19

Learn about oral treatments for COVID-19 and who is prioritised to receive them.

Lagevrio and Paxlovid PBS listing

Lagevrio®(molnupiravir) was listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) on 1 March 2022 and Paxlovid® (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir) on 1 May 2022.

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended changes to the eligibility criteria for the oral treatments. These changes came into effect on 1 November 2022. People at high risk of progression to severe disease remain the population eligible for access to these oral treatments on the PBS. Read the media statement.

At its November 2022 intracycle meeting, the PBAC recommended that the PBS eligibility criteria further expand to include patients with any significantly immunocompromising condition where in the last 12 months, the patient has received anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody treatment and patients who have been previously hospitalised with COVID-19 disease if subsequently re-infected. The latest recommendations from the PBAC commence from 1 January 2023.

Find out more about Lagevrio.

Find out more about Paxlovid.

To access these medications, you need a prescription from an authorised prescriber e.g. general practitioner or nurse practitioner.

PBAC Web Outcome Statements.

Eligibility and access

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may be eligible for antiviral treatments if you are:

  • 70 years of age or older, regardless of risk factors and with or without symptoms
  • 50 years of age or older with 2 additional risk factors for developing severe disease or have had past a COVID 19 infection resulting in hospitalisation 
  • First Nations person, 30 years of age or older and with 1 additional risk factor for developing severe disease
  • 18 years of age or older and moderately to severely immunocompromised.

Check your risk factors and eligibility.

To support prompt treatment of patients, as of 1 November 2022, medical practitioners and nurse practitioners are able to add Lagevrio® and Paxlovid® to their Prescriber Bag supplies. A complete list of current prescriber bag medicines is available at: Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) | Prescriber Bag Supplies.

Find a pharmacy with available supply of oral treatments

Initial preplaced distribution of the oral treatments by the Australian Government was prioritised to those with the highest clinical need including:

  • people living in residential aged care facilities (Lagevrio® only)
  • rural and remote communities
  • First Nations people
  • people with a disability, especially in a supported living setting.

Residential aged care facilities

Working in partnership with the aged care sector, the Australian Government has pre-placed Lagevrio®, a prescription-only (S4) medicine which requires a prescription from a medical practitioner or authorised nurse practitioner, in residential aged care facilities.

This has supported timely administration to eligible patients.

For residents and families

For residential aged care staff, GPs and pharmacists 

For health professionals – Lagevrio® for people with difficulty swallowing capsules

Lagevrio® capsules should not be opened, broken or crushed, however, if a resident or patient cannot swallow capsules whole, there is an option for an oral solution if deemed clinically necessary.

People living with disability

If you’re a person with disability, and you’re at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, you may be eligible for oral antiviral treatments.

Find out more and check your risk factors.

Read this information sheet for more information about COVID-19 oral treatments for people with disability.

Download the easy read resource providing information on the COVID-19 medicines that you might be able to have if you get COVID-19. 

Watch the webinar on COVID-19 oral treatments and winter preparedness, for people living with disability, their carers and disability services staff.

Use in community settings

Supplies of the oral treatments have been provided to state and territory governments through the National Medical Stockpile for use in their COVID-19 care arrangements with a focus on those who will benefit most: people living in rural and remote areas, First Nations communities, and people with disability, especially in supported living settings.

Information on accessing oral treatments for states and territories

Cost of treatment

If you have a Medicare card

The oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19, Paxlovid® and Lagevrio®, are listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). 

This means the medications are subsidised for people with a Medicare card.

From 1 January 2023, the maximum cost for a pharmaceutical benefit item under the PBS at a pharmacy is:

  • Reduced from $42.50 to $30 for general patients
  • Increased from $6.80 to $7.30 for concession card holders, in line with annual CPI indexation.

More information can be found at Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) | Changes to the PBS to make medicines more affordable.

If you DO NOT have a Medicare card

Please download the fact sheet for information on accessing oral treatments for COVID-19 you do not have a Medicare card.

GPs/primary care

Watch the COVID-19 Treatments webinar hosted by the Department.

This forum releases updates for primary care so you can stay up to date with the Department’s latest advice on COVID-19. 

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has also released prescribing information for GPs.

Supporting regulatory documents, including the Product Information and Consumer Medicine Information, which provide details on dosage, side effects, contraindications and other essential prescribing information, can be found at on the TGA website.

You can also read the National Clinical Evidence Taskforce – Australian guidelines for the clinical care of people with COVID-19 on the use of these treatments.

More information

For more comprehensive information on these oral treatments, please read:

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