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) has recommended changes to the eligibility criteria for the oral treatments on 11 July 2022, 1 November 2022, 1 January 2023 and 1 April 2023, to provide greater access for people who are vulnerable to severe disease.

The current eligibility criteria for Paxlovid and Lagevrio reflect the evidence that has been submitted to the PBAC to date. The PBAC is an independent, expert body appointed by the Government, and its members include doctors, health professionals, health economists and consumer representatives.

For more information on the latest eligibility criteria, please see the Paxlovid and Lagevrio factsheets at Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) | PBS Publications and the PBAC Web Outcome Statements.

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

It is encouraged that you have an early discussion with your GP or nurse practitioner about whether an oral antiviral suits your health needs and to develop a COVID-19 plan if you test positive to COVID-19.

Eligibility and access

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may be eligible for antiviral treatments if you are at high risk of severe disease.

For a full breakdown of clinical criteria and eligibility criteria please visit the PBS website.

Find out more about Paxlovid.

Find out more about Lagevrio.

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

Access to Lagevrio and Paxlovid requires a prescription from an authorised GP or Nurse Practitioner.

Timing is critical for COVID-19 antiviral treatments to be the most effective. People in residential aged care and their families should be thinking about how you might get the antiviral before you get COVID-19.

Providing advanced consent to your GP or clinical team will make sure you or the person you are caring for (for a substitute decision-maker such as medical power of attorney or guardian) will receive quick access to a COVID-19 treatment.

Please talk to your GP or clinical care team if you have any questions and to plan for what to do if you or the person you are caring for get COVID-19, including consent to receive oral treatment for COVID-19.

Residential aged care homes are encouraged to pre-assess any potentially eligible residents to facilitate speedy access and best practice treatment in a residential aged care setting.

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.

Check your risk factors for  Paxlovid.

Check your risk factors for Lagevrio.

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. 

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 $30 for general patients and $7.30 for concession card holders.

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

Subscribe to the COVID-19 weekly updates for primary care 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.

More information

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

Last updated:

Help us improve health.gov.au

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.