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In December 2023, drug manufacturer Pfizer changed its strategic sales approach for nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid) by shifting to commercial sales in lieu of providing the COVID-19 antiviral drug at no-cost to patients exclusively through the federal government, according to Kaiser Health News. Some patients, such as those who are uninsured or enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, may qualify for free prescription fills, but they need to work through an application process. What’s concerning is that nirmatrelvir/ritonavir has a short 5-day window after symptom onset to ensure effectiveness.

How much? Some consumers are finding the price of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir at their local pharmacy is $1,600 or more. With high-deductible health plans, they would likely be paying most or all of the cost out of pocket. 

Discount programs available for commercially insured patients can be found here: 

Discount programs available for government health beneficiaries can be found here:

Free COVID-19 Antiviral No Longer Free