First COVID-19 Treatment Pills Arrive In Wisconsin, Prescriptions Required

MILWAUKEE, WI — Wisconsin received its first shipment of COVID-19 treatment pills Wednesday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced.

A limited supply of Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s molnupavir were available for at-risk Wisconsinites through prescription, state health services said in a statement.

Local doctors were encouraged to prioritize giving prescriptions to residents who have the greatest risk of becoming seriously ill or hospitalized, and eligible Wisconsinites should talk to their health care providers about getting a prescription, health services said.

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The new antiviral pills were designed to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 but weren’t meant as a substitute for getting vaccinated against the disease or wearing a mask to stop its spread in public spaces, Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake said in a statement.

“We anticipate high demand for these medications, and we know that the initial supply we are receiving will be extremely limited,” Timberlake said. Residents should be patient as doctors prioritize people with the highest risk of serious illness from the virus, she added.

Find out what’s happening in Milwaukee with free, real-time updates from Patch.

Paxlovid and molnupiravir are meant for people with mild to moderate COVID-19 that could develop into serious illnesses, The Associated Press reported. Older people or people with preexisting health conditions were eligible for the treatments.

Pills have to be started within five days of the start of symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a website that describes coronavirus symptoms.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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