: CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart part of Biden’s test-to-treat COVID-19 program

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CVS Health Corp., the Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., and Walmart Inc. said they will participate in the test-to-treat initiative, a new program that allows someone who has tested positive for the virus to get antiviral pills during the same visit at no cost.

President Joe Biden revealed the new initiative and a National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan during Tuesday’s State of the Union address. 

“The president’s plan launches a new test-to-treat initiative to provide individuals access to testing and treatment for free, all in one stop,” Jeff Zients, the White House’s COVID-⁠19 response coordinator, said Wednesday during a press briefing. “Hundreds of one-stop sites opened across the country this month, located at local pharmacy clinics, community health centers, long-term care facilities, and veteran’s health centers.

A Walmart
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spokesperson said Walmart Health centers in Arkansas, Georgia, and Chicago will participate in the program.

A spokesperson for CVS Health
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confirmed that some of its retail clinics and pharmacies are participating in the program but could not confirm the locations of the included sites. 

“We are uniquely positioned to help support the government’s Test to Treat initiative and look forward to helping to provide expanded access as additional inventory becomes available,” the CVS spokesperson said in an email.

The Walgreens Boots Alliance
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also told MarketWatch on Wednesday that it is participating in the program, saying it plans to provide additional details about the rollout in the future. 

“As we move to the next phase of the pandemic, we look forward to continuing to work closely with the administration and federal agencies on the latest guidance allowing pharmacists to assess patients and order oral COVID-19 therapies,” a Walgreens spokesperson said.

Over the course of the pandemic, pharmacies have been a central player in the nation’s response, providing COVID-19 masks, testing, and vaccines, as well as selling at-home tests and masks. The antivirals included in Biden’s plan are Pfizer Inc.’s
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Paxlovid and Merck & Co. Inc.’s
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molnupiravir, both of which received emergency authorization in the U.S. in December.

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