Prescriptions

How Much Does COVID Antiviral Pill Paxlovid Cost and Where To Get It?

Khang T. Vuong, MHA
Khang T. Vuong, MHA18 Apr 2022

Paxlovid is currently being used to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19; the treatment costs $530 per person. However, it is being distributed for free by the U.S. federal government. Paxlovid is a combination of nirmatrelvir tablets and ritonavir tablets developed and manufactured by Pzifer.

The New York Times reported that COVID-19 cases are on the rise again due to the sub-variant BA.2, with states like Rhode Island, Maryland, Kansas, Oregon, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York seeing more than 60% increases in cases and Maryland recently reintroduced indoor mask mandate. 

The spike of Omicron and Omicron BA.2 variants is believed to increase demand for the COVID-19 treatment in the coming days.

Paxlovid treatment for COVID-19

There are enough COVID treatments Paxlovid for the entire U.S. population for at least five months.

Our independent research using data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that, as of April 18, 2022, the U.S. has 594,525 courses of Paxlovid available across 45,561 pharmacies. This represents only 3% of the total 20 million treatment courses available for purchase by the government, a $10.6B contract. 

We estimate that this supply is enough to cover the entire U.S. population for at least 161 days or 5 months. 

Is Paxlovid effective at treating COVID-19?

The results published from a clinical trial of 2246 patients found an 89.1% reduction in the risk of hospitalization and death in the group that was administered Paxlovid no later than three days after COVID-19-related symptoms started. 

Although effective at reducing the risk of hospitalization, taking Paxlovid doesn’t wholly mitigate all COVID-19-related symptoms. Multiple anecdotal reports from patients suggest that Paxlovid makes them feel better, but symptoms like sore throat and mild fever still last between two and five days. 

How much is a course of Paxlovid treatment?

Each course of Paxlovid treatment costs $530. As of April 2022, the U.S. federal government has agreed to purchase 20 million courses of Paxlovid treatments and distribute them free of charge at selected pharmacies. 

Though the cost of Paxlovid is free, the treatment requires a doctor’s order and the cost of the doctor’s visit depends on your insurance status. Read more about the cost of urgent care visit without insurance.

How many days do I need to be on the medication?

A Paxlovid course includes five days of treatment. Pfizer recommends two doses per day, one in the morning and one at night, with 3 pills included in each dose. While on Paxlovid, you need to consult with your pharmacist and stop taking other medications that could cause drug interaction.

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Where do I get Paxlovid near me?

Get a prescription from a medical provider.

To get the script for Paxlovid, you must first get tested and see a medical provider (MD, DO, PRN, PA). If determined eligible, the medical provider will write you a script and send it to a nearby pharmacy. 

  • Urgent care center (get tested and script)
  • Retail health clinics (CVS Minute Clinic, Walmart Health Clinic)
  • Primary care physician

Additionally, you could get a Paxlovid order via virtual care and request it to be sent to a pharmacy near you. If you don't have access to a primary care provider or don't have insurance, Mira provides unlimited $5 virtual urgent and primary care with membership starting at $45/month. Learn more.

Get Paxlovid at a pharmacy nearby.

As of April 2022, Paxlovid is available for dispensing at all major pharmacies in the U.S. Additionally, and there are multiple Test To Treat locations where you can get a COVID-19 test and receive the treatment if eligible. 

Can I just go to the pharmacy and get Paxlovid? 

At this time, no. You must obtain a prescription from a medical provider to get Paxlovid. The U.S. government has not authorized pharmacists to dispense Paxlovid over the counter. 

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Pharmacy with the most courses of Paxlovid available (Updated April 2022):

Pharmacy NameLocationPaxlovid courses available
ALTO PHARMACY (deliver only)New York, NY3356 updated 04/17
Walgreens Store #10602Evans, GA3049 updated 04/15
Orlando Health Scripts Ph Lake MaryLake Mary, FL2160 updated 04/12
CVS Store #05939Burlington, MA1200 updated 04/15
MEDIC PHARMACYKingfisher, OK1200 updated 04/11
Coborns Inc.Foley, MN1170 updated 04/11
Wellstar Health System, IncLithia Springs, GA1160 updated 04/11
Coborns Inc.Park Rapids, MN1140 updated 04/15
FARMACIA MEDINA #2Loiza, PR1140 updated 04/08
SHOP RITE PHCY DEPT 297Lincoln Park, NJ1050 updated 04/15
Walgreens Store #12449Burnet, TX1000 updated 04/15
Walgreens Store #05833La Marque, TX1000 updated 04/15
M HEALTH FAIRVIEW CLINICSMinneapolis, MN931 updated 04/15
Walgreens Store #03769Phoenix, AZ917 updated 04/15
Thrifty Drug Stores IncWells, MN820 updated 04/06
Thrifty Drug Stores IncRed Lake Falls, MN820 updated 04/06
Walgreens Store #02452Anderson, SC648 updated 04/15
DPH Central PharmacyLos Angeles, CA620 updated 04/12
BIRDS EYE MEDICALTumwater, WA600 updated 04/09
LULA PHARMACY FOOTHILLS GIFT SHOPLula, GA600 updated 04/15
Brookshire Grocery CompanyBonham, TX600 updated 04/15
Northeast Louisiana Pharmacy LLCShreveport, LA600 updated 04/11
Walgreens Store #17805Athens, GA571 updated 04/15
FARMACIA SAN MARTIN BARCELONTABarceloneta, PR570 updated 04/17
Walgreens Store #07068Kennesaw, GA556 updated 04/15
HARTFORD HOSPITAL/MAIN HOSPITALHartford, CT552 updated 04/17
KAISER PERM SUPPLY MAINRenton, WA486 updated 04/15
PUBLIX PHARMACY 1561Miami, FL470 updated 04/15
UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS OF CLEVELANDCleveland, OH469 updated 04/15
CVS Store #09121San Diego, CA467 updated 04/15
UC DAVIS MEDICAL CENTERSacramento, CA442 updated 04/15
LANE CO HEALTH DEPTEugene, OR425 updated 04/16
Walgreens Store #17917Laurel, MD423 updated 04/15
Walgreens Store #17944Edgewater, MD423 updated 04/15
KAISER FOUNDATION HOSPITAL - OAKLANOakland, CA421 updated 04/13
USC Medical Plaza PharmacyLos Angeles, CA418 updated 04/15
Walmart Pharmacy #2919Monroe, LA415 updated 04/15
NORTH SHORE UNIV HOSPGreat Neck, NY410 updated 04/15
PHOEBE PUTNEY MEMORIAL HOSPITALAlbany, GA400 updated 04/13
BARNES JEWISH HOSP GPOSaint Louis, MO399 updated 04/14
Fam HC Netw - Visalia Bridge HCVisalia, CA398 updated 04/11
AU Medical Center Inpatient PharmAugusta, GA397 updated 04/17
MAYO CLINIC PHOENIXScottsdale, AZ397 updated 04/17
CLEVELAND CLINIC FOUNDATION - MAINCleveland, OH385 updated 04/18
UC SAN DIEGO HEALTH - HILLCRESTSan Diego, CA384 updated 04/16
OPEN DOOR FAMILY MEDICAL CENTERPort Chester, NY384 updated 04/14
Kaiser Point West Outpatient PharmSacramento, CA380 updated 04/12
Ingles Markets IncWest Union, SC371 updated 04/17
Mayo Clinic Pharmacy Mary BrighRochester, MN361 updated 04/13
ShopriteShelton, CT360 updated 04/15
Walgreens Store #03727Chandler, AZ358 updated 04/15
SANFORD USD MEDICAL CENTERSioux Falls, SD344 updated 04/13
Kaiser Found Hospital MantecaManteca, CA339 updated 04/16
Intermountain Specialty PharmacyTaylorsville, UT331 updated 04/14
Walgreens Store #02454Newnan, GA328 updated 04/15
GENESIS HOSPITALZanesville, OH326 updated 04/15
Walgreens Store #18052Brunswick, MD325 updated 04/15
KAISER NC - MODESTO Inpt 1ST FLOORModesto, CA324 updated 04/16
HIGH DESERT MEDICAL GROUPLancaster, CA323 updated 04/13
Walgreens Store #10905Cambridge, MD323 updated 04/15

Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, healthcare.gov 

What are the eligibility criteria to get Paxlovid COVID treatment?

According to the FDA, Paxlovid is available for adults and children “12 years of age and older weighing at least 88 pounds (40 kg)] with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death.”

CVS Minute Clinics’ own Paxlovid prescribe criteria require the patient to be high-risk (over the age of 65 or have severe chronic conditions).

Summary of Paxlovid eligibility:

  • Over 12 years of age
  • Weighing at least 88 pounds
  • Positive COVID-19 test results
  • High risk for hospitalization and death (this involves a chronic condition or commodity, though it is up to the provider to decide)

Though we found sufficient evidence to suggest that Paxlovid effectively treats COVID-19 and is relatively abundant in supply, getting the doctor’s order remains difficult. 

Multiple reports from patients state that they had difficulty obtaining a doctor’s order due to not being eligible for the treatment. This could be because the drug is relatively new, and most medical providers are yet to become familiar with its eligibility, hence hesitant to provide treatment. 

What should I do to get Paxlovid if I test positive for COVID?

  • Determine if you are likely eligible for Paxlovid
    • Do you have a chronic condition?
    • Are you not vaccinated?
    • Have you or any of your family members been hospitalized due to COVID-19?
  • If you test positive, bring your test result (either PCR or instant test) to the nearest Test to treat location.
  • Be ready to explain your situation and the risk of developing severe COVID to the provider and explain how the treatment could help you.
  • If you are denied treatment, stay calm and see if there is another course of treatment that could help you manage symptoms.