HHS to pharmacies: Ensure patients aren't overcharged for Paxlovid

In a Feb. 5 meeting with retail pharmacy CEOs, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra stressed that patients should not be paying the full list price or high copays for Pfizer's Paxlovid drug. 

While the distribution of Paxlovid has shifted to the commercial market and is no longer overseen by the federal government, HHS has negotiated pathways with Pfizer to ensure the drug is affordable and accessible at the pharmacy counter. 

Through those pathways, people covered through Medicare and Medicaid are eligible to receive the COVID-19 antiviral for free through the end of the year. Uninsured individuals have free access through 2028 and those with commercial insurance are eligible for a copay assistance program through 2028. 

The list price for a five-day supply is nearly $1,400. 

During the call with CEOs at Walgreens, CVS, Walmart and pharmacy leaders, Mr. Becerra "reiterated the Biden-Harris administration's commitment to equitable access to COVID-19 therapeutics, reminded pharmacy leaders of the pathways for access that HHS negotiated with Pfizer, and made it clear that HHS would continue to engage with pharmacist leadership as needed," according to a readout of the meeting. 


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