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CRMC Not Requesting Shipment Of Antiviral COVID Pills For Now

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
CRMC Not Requesting Shipment Of Antiviral COVID Pills For Now

Cookeville Regional Medical Center will not order shipments of antiviral COVID treatment pills for now.

The State Department of Health said in a Tuesday release that bi-weekly drug allocations have increased. Cookeville Regional Pharmacy Director Casey White said the medical center may ask for a shipment if needed.

“We have the ability now to request them from the state,” White said. “However, there is still a limited supply, and there is not a guarantee that we would be shipped any. We have not made any plans at CRMC to stock any. The major reason for that is because they are an alternative to the treatments we are currently using.”

White said the hospital would request a shipment considering two factors: a high patient demand or supply issues of other treatments. Specifically, the intravenous monoclonal antibodies which has been successfully used as COVID treatment over the past year, White said.

“We have an infusion clinic here that’s been going for well over a year now,” White said. “With a lot of success, we’re familiar with the process, and we feel like at this moment in time, it may change next week, but at this moment in time, we would let our retail partners continue in those endeavors and we would continue with the antibody infusions.”

There are currently two oral antiviral medications available: Paxlovid by Pfizer and Molnupiravir by Merck. When these treatments were first authorized under an Emergency Use Authorization, allocations were limited. But in recent weeks, allocations have increased for pharmacies and other dispensers to submit requests.

White said both drugs work in different ways but keep the COVID virus from making copies of themselves. White said the drugs can be purchased with a prescription.

“They are very similar in the way you have to take them,” White said. “It’s best if you start receiving them within five days of symptom onset.”


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