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Covid-19 Oral Therapeutics

Selected Unichem and Life Pharmacy are able to provide the oral COVID-19 antiviral medicines nirmatrelvir with ritonavir (Paxlovid™) and molnupiravir (Lagevrio®) to those who meet certain eligibility criteria, found here. This can then be provided without the need for a prescription.

This provides an additional pathway for COVID-19 positive individuals to gain access to these medicines, providing you meet eligibility criteria. 

If you have any questions in relation to oral COVID-19 antiviral medicines, please consult with your local Unichem or Life Pharmacy or your GP.

PLEASE NOTE : Patient’s symptoms must have started within the last 5 days in order to receive the oral COVID-19 antiviral medicines nirmatrelvir with ritonavir (Paxlovid™) or molnupiravir (Lagevrio®).

People can get free antiviral medicine, if:

  • they have just caught COVID-19 (or they are a probable case, or household contact of positive case); and their symptoms started within 5 days; AND they fit in one of these eight groups:
  1. Māori or Pacific people AND aged 50 years or older; or
  2. Aged 65 years or older; or
  3. Aged 50 years or older AND have not been given at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccination; or  
  4. Is severely immunocompromised; or
  5. Has Down syndrome; or
  6. Has sickle cell disease; or
  7. Previously in critical care or a hospital high dependency unit because of COVID-19; or
  8. Any age with three or more high risk medical conditions. These include :
    • chronic lung or airways disease
    • serious heart conditions such as congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, rheumatic heart disease, and congenital heart disease
    • hypertension/ High blood pressure
    • chronic neurological or neuromuscular disease
    • diabetes
    • chronic kidney disease
    • severe liver disease such as cirrhosis
    • severe haematological disorders
    • severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, bipolar or schizoaffective disorder
    • active cancer
    • morbid obesity (BMI greater than 35)
    • sickle cell disease
    • Down syndrome.

Your usual healthcare provider or pharmacy will check the latest information on the Covid19 Health website as well as your overall health, before giving any antiviral medicines. These medicines may not be suitable for everyone, even if they meet eligibility criteria.

YourPaxlovid™ is also available to some Kiwis who do not meet the original access criteria but may still benefit from treatment. Contact your local Unichem or Life Pharmacy to find out if you're eligible for Paxlovid™



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