DHS: COVID-19 pill available in Wisconsin

MADISON (WKBT) — The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced Wednesday that the state has received its first allocation of the pills to treat COVID-19.

The oral antiviral treatments molnupiravir and Paxlovid treat patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. The initial supply is extremely limited and the National Institutes of Health have told providers to prioritize prescribing the treatment to patients with the greatest risk of serious illness.

Wisconsin’s first week allocation from the federal government includes 940 courses of Paxlovid and 4,320 courses of molnupiravir. DHS will distribute the courses to select pharmacies by Friday. As Wisconsin receives more allocations from the federal government, DHS will continue to distribute the antiviral pills equitably throughout the state.

“While these new antiviral pills may help treat COVID-19, it’s important to remember these drugs are not a substitution for protecting yourself by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public places,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “We anticipate high demand for these medications, and we know that the initial supply we are receiving will be extremely limited. Please be patient as providers will prioritize people at highest risk for developing serious illness from the virus. We are committed to distributing these pills equitably across the state, and access will increase as Wisconsin receives more allocations from the federal government.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued emergency use authorizations for the two antiviral pills to be taken at home. Get tested as soon as symptoms develop and talk with your health care provider to see if you may be eligible to receive one of these treatments. More information can be found on the DHS COVID-19: Treatments and Medications webpage.

DHS reminded the public that vaccination is the best protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

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