Pfizer’s oral COVID-19 treatment arrives in New Zealand

Media release Medicines COVID-19

The first shipment of Pfizer’s new oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19, Paxlovid, has arrived in New Zealand and will be available for those who need it from next week.

“While vaccinations and booster shots are the best defence against COVID-19, having more treatments is important for those who become unwell and need further treatment.” says Pharmac’s Chief Executive Sarah Fitt.

The agreement for Paxlovid was that the first batch would be delivered between April and June 2022, so we are especially pleased at how quickly New Zealand has been able receive the treatment,” says Sarah.

Under the terms of the agreement, New Zealand will receive 60,000 treatment courses of Paxlovid in 2022.

“After considering the feedback we received to our consultation on the proposed access criteria, we have made changes to target the stock to those most in need. Those who are confirmed to have COVID-19 and are immunocompromised or have comorbidities that put them at risk of severe COVID-19 and are within five days of the onset of symptoms will be eligible for treatment.

Read our full decision announcement

“With the positive outcomes that this new antiviral has shown, including against the Omicron variant, we believe we have the right tools in place to help keep as many New Zealanders as possible well,” says Sarah.