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19 Apr 2022

19th Apr 2022

1.     As part of the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) efforts to treat COVID-19 in community settings, 16 more Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs) will be progressively coming on board a pilot programme to prescribe Paxlovid for COVID-19 patients who are at risk of severe disease and who are assessed by their doctor to be clinically eligible to receive the treatment. This is in addition to all polyclinics and the 20 PHPCs that are currently participating in the pilot programme. Details of these 36 PHPCs can be found in the Annex.

2.     For now, MOH will fully cover the drug cost of Paxlovid use in primary care settings, regardless of the patient’s vaccination status, as it can reduce the likelihood of high-risk patients developing severe COVID-19 and requiring hospital admission. The charging policy for Paxlovid will be reviewed in due course.

3.     Early treatment with Paxlovid may be considered for COVID-19 patients who meet certain criteria. These include COVID-positive patients who are aged 18 years and older, present within five days of illness, and are at risk of developing severe disease, such as those who have active cancer, serious heart conditions, or are on ongoing immunosuppressive condition or treatment. As Paxlovid has potential interactions with many other commonly used medications, the decision to take Paxlovid has to be carefully considered by the primary care doctor, and after discussion with the patients on the benefits and risks.

4.     MOH will continue to monitor the usage of Paxlovid and review the patient outcomes. We will also monitor the demand closely and maintain a healthy stock of Paxlovid.

MINISTRY OF HEALTH

19 APRIL 2022