Walgreens Cuts Deal to Deliver Paxlovid to Homes

Uber, DoorDash partner with chain, greatly expanding access for COVID-19 patients
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2022 4:45 PM CST
DoorDash, Uber to Deliver Paxlovid
Doses of the anti-viral drug Paxlovid are displayed in New York, on Monday, Aug. 1, 2022. Pfizer's COVID-19 pill may provide little benefit for younger adults, while still reducing the risk of hospitalization and death for higher-risk seniors, according to an Israeli study published Wednesday, Aug 24,...   (AP Photo/Stephanie Nano)

Walgreens announced Thursday that it has partnered with DoorDash and Uber to have Paxlovid, the oral antiviral therapy for COVID-19, delivered to homes. The company said that the new service will make the drug available to 92% of Americans, ABC News reports, and that its goal is to reach "those in socially vulnerable or medically underserved areas at a time when COVID-19 cases are beginning to rise again across the United States." Anyone living within 15 miles of a participating Walgreens will be able to order same-day delivery, assuming they have a prescription, the company said.

Many people who would be helped most by Paxlovid are less likely to take it, research has shown, per CNN. They include many Black and Hispanic people, as well as the elderly—all groups disproportionately affected by severe illnesses. Transportation is one barrier; there are others keeping people from obtaining prescriptions. "Often, people have to take time off of work to do that, and they don’t always have paid sick leave," one experts said. "Everyone’s lives are complicated." Many people obtain their prescriptions through the Postal Service, but Paxlovid works best when taken with five days of symptoms surfacing, making mail delivery risky.

Paxlovid, which stops the virus from replicating in the body, has been successful at cutting the risk of patients needing hospitalization and preventing high-risk patients from becoming sicker. Pfizer expects the drug to work well against the coronavirus variants around now. Rite Aid has a delivery deal with ScriptDrop that covers Paxlovid, free of service fees, per CNN. In most locations, CVS offers one- or two-day delivery, with on-demand service in fewer places free to customers in its membership program. (More Paxlovid stories.)

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