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Internal Medicine Physicians Concerned About Relaxed Approach to Paxlovid Prescribing

Statement attributable to:
Ryan D. Mire, MD, FACP
President, ACP

WASHINGTON July 8, 2022 – The American College of Physicians (ACP) believes that more needs to be done to improve access to Paxlovid for treating COVID-19 infections in the outpatient setting, however we believe that relaxing prescribing standards could jeopardize patient safety and undermine collaborative care. Since the use of Paxlovid can be complicated by the patient’s health status and existing treatment regimen, prescribing it should involve a patient’s regular physician or other licensed prescriber in order to ensure Paxlovid is the most appropriate course of treatment for that individual patient. The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recommendation of placing the responsibility on the patient to gather and present their own medical records to a pharmacist is less than optimal in a real-world environment, especially when that patient is dealing with an acute illness.

The new FDA policy could compromise the provision of the most-appropriate, evidence-based care for patients. Pharmacists are an important part of the clinical care team, however ACP opposes independent pharmacist prescriptive privileges and initiation of drug therapy outside of a collective practice agreement, physician standing order or supervision, or similar arrangement. The policy laid out by the FDA could remove the physician from the care process, preventing them from tracking potential adverse interactions. ACP underscores the importance of encouraging patients to consult their regular physician after testing positive for COVID-19 since the physician has a comprehensive awareness of the patient’s medical history.

It needs to be easier for patients to gain access to this vital treatment and we also need to ensure that access is equitable and safe for all patients. We encourage the FDA, others in the administration, and policymakers to look at other ways to increase access to Paxlovid and additional care for COVID-19 infections.

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About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 160,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Contact: Jacquelyn Blaser, (202) 261-4572, jblaser@acponline.org