MILWAUKEE — President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 and his doctor has him on the antiviral medication Paxlovid.
Paxlovid is an antiviral medication developed by Pfizer and intended for early use by patients who test positive for COVID.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends the drug for people with mild or moderate symptoms who are at high risk for severe COVID including hospitalizations or death.
"It's not for everybody. It really is for people who are (at) higher risk for severe COVID," said Ajay Sethi, Professor with the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Medicine.
Sethi said this medication is one of three anti-viral medications on the market, but what sets it apart is that you can take the pill at home instead of in the hospital.
Sethi adds that the antiviral pill will stop replications of this virus, so the virus can't make copies. He adds stopping the replication stops the progression of the disease.
"What makes Paxlovid such a game changer is that it is 90% effective in preventing severe disease," said pharmacist Dr. Hashim Zaibak at Hayat Pharmacy.
Zaibak said the demand has been high in Wisconsin since the drug was given emergency use authorization.
"We get two or three requests a day," Zaibak stated.
He said access was limited until a few weeks ago.
"Pharmacists now can dispense it and prescribe it without having to get a prescription from the doctor," Zaibak said .
He wants to remind people that before any pharmacists can give out Paxlovid, a patient must show their medication list to ensure there is no drug interaction.
The only Hayat location with Paxlovid is the 8th and Layton location.