Despite modest stockpiles of oral COVID treatments, New York City says it is ready to carry out the new federal initiative to treat patients who test positive on the spot.
The Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday outlined details for the "Test to Treat'' initiative, introduced by President Joe Biden in his State of the Union address last week. The program allows individuals who receive a positive COVID test result to receive treatment with antiviral pills on the spot. It kicked off Monday, and participating pharmacy-based clinics, federally qualified health centers and long-term-care facilities are eligible to receive direct distributions of molnupiravir and Paxlovid from HHS. Molnupiravir was developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and Paxlovid comes from Pfizer.
The initiative will tap a separate federal supply that will not affect current state allocations that are going to other sites and providers. Providers that can obtain those treatments outside of Test to Treat were directed to consider treating newly diagnosed patients on the spot.