Walmart, Sam’s Club to Distribute COVID-19 Antivirals

But Paxlovid and molnupiravir will be available only at certain Walmart and Sam’s Club locations.

Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies are ready to receive and dispense Paxlovid and Molnupiravir, antiviral medications to treat COVID-19, in certain areas.

On December 23, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for Merck’s molnupiravir to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19) in adults with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19 and for those whom for alternative COVID-19 treatment options authorized by the FDA are not accessible or clinically appropriate, the agency said in a statement. Molnupiravir was originally going to be a treatment flu, but researchers at the Emory Institute for Drug Development in Atlanta shifted gears and developed it as a treatment for COVID-19

A day before the EUA for molnupiravir, the agency issued an EUA for Pfizer’s Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir tablets and ritonavir tablets, co-packaged for oral use) to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients.

Both antivirals are available by prescription only. Last summer, the Biden administration announced a plan that involves plowing $3.2 billion into research of antivirals as treatments for COVID-19.

Paxlovid and Molnupiravir will only be available at certain Walmart and Sam’s Club locations in a limited number of states until more supply is available, Walmart said in a statement.

Walmart worked closely with the federal government and state health departments to select locations where states determined the treatment was needed most, according to the retailer.

“While initial medication supply is limited, Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies stand ready to help expand treatment access nationwide,” the company said.

“We are committed to working with our state and federal partners to provide access to new treatment options like authorized COVID-19 antiviral medications, as they become available,” said Kevin Host, senior vice president of pharmacy at Walmart. “This medication offers customers the option to recover at home and helps reduce the burden on our hospitals and communities.”

Customers and healthcare providers can go to walmart.com/covidmedication to find the nearest store or club that is carrying the medication and to send the electronic prescription.