Ontario will allow pharmacists to prescribe an antiviral drug used to reduce severe outcomes from COVID-19.
The government says starting Dec. 12 pharmacists will be able to prescribe Paxlovid to eligible people at no cost both in person and virtually.
Health Minister Sylvia Jones made the announcement this morning at a Toronto pharmacy.
The province’s top doctor says in a statement the change will expand access to the medication, increase protection to the most vulnerable, and ease hospital pressures.
It’s a move Dr. Kieran Moore said last month the government was considering in part to help keep people out of hospital, especially in rural areas where access to primary care physicians can be limited.
The antiviral medication is taken orally within five days of symptom onset and is recommended for people at higher risk of COVID-19 complications, including people over 60 and people who are immunocompromised.