Local pharmacies seeing high demand for COVID-19 antiviral pills

Coronavirus

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – As the latest COVID-19 surge continues to impact our community, local pharmacies say they’re seeing a high demand for antiviral oral treatment.

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) allocated both Pfizer and Merck’s treatments to about 50 pharmacies across the state.

Georgetown Drug Company in Savannah received their first shipment of Pfizer’s Paxlovid last Thursday. By Monday, they had run out. But the pharmacy still has Merck’s Molnupiravir, according to owner and pharmacist Dr. Neal Hollis.

“We’re still getting a lot of doctors calling us just to make sure we do have it and, you know, that we can supply it,” Hollis said. “That is a big thing for us is that we do have it and we can offer it to the patients.”

Hollis said the pharmacy is seeing up to five prescriptions a day for the pills.

In Statesboro, Forest Heights Pharmacy says the demand is outweighing their supply. They are also out of Paxlovid and running low on Molnupiravir. The Coastal Drug Company in Midway said they are not having supply issues, but are running low on Paxlovid.

The DPH told WSAV News 3 that allocations for the pills are on a two-week cycle and those pharmacies should expect to see another shipment next week.

Of those patients who have received the treatment, Hollis said he’s been hearing good feedback.

“It’s a five-day course of therapy, it’s been seven days as of now,” he said. “I want to say we’ve had three patients of the Paxlovid to follow up with us, call us back and say, you know, ‘We do feel a little bit better,’ and the response tends to be pretty good so that’s definitely encouraging.”

The state health department said there are 3,000 more treatments in this next shipment, but supplies are still limited. Officials told News 3 until production increases, which could take weeks, there won’t be a substantial increase in allocation.

You do need a prescription to get the treatment. Experts suggest taking it within five days of experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and recommend it for high-risk individuals. The treatment remains under emergency use authorization.

Here are pharmacies in the area where you can get the oral antiviral treatment:

  • Georgetown Drug Company in Savannah
  • Walgreens on Hwy. 17 in Richmond Hill
  • Walmart on Altama Connector in Brunswick
  • Coastal Drug Company in Midway
  • Forest Heights Pharmacy in Statesboro
  • Jones Prescription Shop in Jesup
  • Walmart on N. 1st Street in Jesup
  • Allcare Pharmacy & Healthcare Services in Lyons

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