News Release

“Huge Disparities in Paxlovid Use”


New research made available in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shows racial and ethnic disparities in outpatient treatment of Covid-19 with Paxlovid from January to July of this year. Black patients were prescribed the drug 36 percent less often than white patients, while Hispanic patient use was 30 percent lower compared to non-Hispanic patients.

HANNAH RECHT;, @hannah_recht 
    Recht is a healthcare data reporter with Kaiser Health News.

Recht wrote: “New research shows huge disparities in Paxlovid use. Black and Hispanic people with Covid were far less likely to get it than white patients, across all age groups.” Recht has reported “on these access disparities for months” for KHN. 

She added: “The federal government pays for Paxlovid right now… As long as Paxlovid is still effective with whatever variants are around when commercialization hits, private plans will likely cover it generously and Medicaid/CHIP will cover it for a long time. But there’s a BIG wrinkle with Medicare Part D.

“Right now, Paxlovid is under emergency use authorization (EUA). Medicare Part D cannot cover drugs that are under EUA.” If Paxlovid moves to the “private market before full approval, Part D will not be able to cover it. Those patients will have to pay whatever the cost is.” Recht notes that if commercialization precedes full FDA approval for Paxlovid, “then we’ll see even more patients struggling to access it.”