Free Paxlovid treatment for COVID-19 will soon be a thing of the past for many people because in the coming months the federal government plans to stop paying for the drug for everyone who needs it.

Nearly six million Americans so far have taken Paxlovid after being diagnosed with COVID, but by the middle of 2023 the federal government is expected to stop footing the bill.  Currently, it pays $530 a dose – a discounted price.

When that happens the drug may become far less accessible.  Because Paxlovid is only authorized under federal emergency use authorization, Medicare drug plans are prohibited by law for paying for it; Pfizer, the drug’s manufacturer, has applied for full FDA approval.  State Medicaid programs are expected to continue covering COVID care, including Paxlovid, into 2024.

Learn more about who is using Paxlovid now and the implications of federal withdrawal from paying for the drug for everyone who needs it in the Kaiser Health News article “Paxlovid Has Been Free So Far. Next Year, Sticker Shock Awaits.”