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Paxlovid now available in select pharmacies

February 9, 2022
Key considerations from the standards when dispensing the COVID-19 antiviral medication.

Alberta Health has distributed its 3,200 courses of treatment for the COVID-19 antiviral medication, Paxlovid, to 134 community pharmacies.

When assessing a patient who has been prescribed Paxlovid, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are reminded of the importance of assessing the patient and the appropriateness of the prescription each time a schedule 1 drug is dispensed in order to identify drug-related problems. These requirements are established in the Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians (SPPPT) that each time a Schedule 1 drug is dispensed

  • Standard 3: Pharmacists must consider appropriate information for each patient.
  • Standard 4: Pharmacists must determine whether a patient has or is likely to have a drug therapy problem.
  • Standard 5: If a pharmacist determines that a patient has or is likely to have a drug therapy problem, the pharmacist must take appropriate action. If a pharmacy technician determines that a patient has or is likely to have a drug therapy problem, the pharmacy technician must refer the patient to a pharmacist so that the pharmacist can take appropriate action.
  • Standard 6: Each time a pharmacist or a pharmacy technician dispenses a Schedule 1 drug or blood product pursuant to a prescription:
    1. the pharmacist must determine that the prescription is appropriate; and
    2. the pharmacist or the pharmacy technician must determine that the prescription is current, authentic, and complete.

Specifically, with Paxlovid, critical elements to consider when identifying drug-related problems include reviewing lab values in order to consider the patient’s renal function, and identifying and managing any potential drug interactions. Note that a review of the patient’s electronic health record (Netcare) is vital to a complete patient assessment.

For more information about Paxlovid, refer to the following resources: