At first glance, Walgreens’ plan to partner with Uber and DoorDash to provide free delivery of Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir tablets; ritonavir tablets) for COVID-19 patients in underserved communities looks like a great plan that could be invaluable in warding off a winter surge. Look a bit deeper, though, and it’s unclear exactly how effective the plan will be. Most problematically, it presumes that those underserved communities have a Walgreens nearby and that the ride share and food delivery companies offer their services there—none of which is a given, considering that the communities in question became “underserved” due to being remote, lower income, or sparsely populated. The disconnect illustrates that, once again, it was a grave oversight for decision-makers not to emphasize the potential of urgent care in making COVID vaccination and Paxlovid widely available.
Urgent Care Could Be the Answer to Shortfalls in the New Paxlovid Delivery Program