With influenza circulating in the community alongside COVID-19 it is important to protect our most vulnerable, including residents of residential aged care facilities (RACF).
The Commonwealth Department of Health has distributed oseltamivir and molnupiravir to RACF for use in residents. To assist with this, NSW Health has enacted legislation to permit RACF to hold and store both these medications.
Molnupiravir and nirmatrelvir/ritonavir are now also available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for residents of RACF through community pharmacies.
The administration of antiviral treatment soon after symptom onset for people with COVID-19 or influenza can reduce disease severity. Additionally, the administration of influenza antivirals to residents of RACF after exposure improves clinical outcomes and assists in controlling the outbreak.
NSW Health is working with general practitioners (GPs) and providers of RACF to make sure residents are aware of these medications and are able to receive them as soon as they need them.
This information has been developed to assist GPs, residents and their families to make informed decisions regarding the use of antiviral medicines:
For additional information on holding antivirals at the residential facilities, see the
Requirements for residential care facilities (RCFs) under the NSW Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Legislation.