Thursday Dec 01, 2022

New York City Partners with Alto Pharmacy to Distribute COVID-19 Antivirals

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NYC Health Department enlists Alto to provide free home delivery for at-risk New Yorkers across the five boroughs.

NEW YORK– (“Alto”), a patient-centric telehealth pharmacy, and the New York City Health Department announced today that they will partner to distribute the city’s anticipated supply of COVID-19 oral antiviral medications, recently granted Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Alto will serve as the exclusive provider of the city’s supply of antiviral pills until supply increases sufficiently to stock multiple pharmacy partners. Alto’s same-day courier delivery model ensures that New York City residents can have access to the medication regardless of location, transportation, or other limitations. Prescribers will be able to send prescriptions for the oral antivirals to Alto through their standard prescribing process; patients must meet FDA and New York State defined criteria to receive the medications. Delivery is available across all five boroughs, for free, seven days a week, with most qualifying patients able to receive their medications the very same day.

“Oral antivirals for COVID-19 will save lives and help more New Yorkers avoid severe illness,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “I want to thank Alto Pharmacy for partnering with the City to quickly deliver these lifesaving treatments to New Yorkers.”

“We are eager to serve our New York City community and partner with the Health Department in their battle against this pandemic. This partnership confirms our belief that the most equitable and patient-centered pharmacy model is one where we come to you,” said Matt Gamache-Asselin, founder of Alto.

Eligibility details for antiviral pill treatment include:

  • Age 12 years and older weighing at least 40 kg (88 pounds) for Paxlovid, or 18 years and older for Molnupiravir
  • Positive COVID-19 diagnostic test result
  • Have mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms
  • Be within five days of symptom onset
  • Be at high risk for severe illness
  • Not be hospitalized due to severe or critical COVID-19 when treatment is initiated
  • Have a medical condition or other factor that increase their risk for severe COVID-19 illness
  • Live in New York City

Prescribing details for healthcare providers:

  • Prescriptions can be sent electronically to Alto Pharmacy (located at 100 Park Ave, Front E, New York, NY 10017), via fax at 1 (415) 484-7058 or by phone 1 (800) 874-5881.
  • Verify that the patient’s phone number and delivery address on file with the prescription are current.
  • Provide the patient’s race/ethnicity and date of symptom onset in the Notes section of the prescription.
  • Inform patients they must respond to calls and text messages from Alto to coordinate their delivery; all outbound communication will come from 1 (800) 874-5881. Patients will also have the option to coordinate their delivery via the Alto mobile app. Alto Pharmacy can offer direct support in English and Spanish and support in numerous other languages through language line.
  • Prescriptions confirmed by 5:00 PM ET weekdays and 1:00 PM ET on weekends will be delivered the same day, for free. Prescriptions received after those cutoffs will be delivered the next day.

After discovering that half of all prescriptions aren’t even picked up—resulting in 125,000 avoidable deaths every year—we set out to build a new kind of pharmacy that focuses on the person behind every prescription.

We’re transforming a $500 billion industry by reinventing what a pharmacy can do—from hand-delivering medications for free to offering on-call help by text or chat. Our customers are at the center of everything we do, and it shows. After delivering more than one million prescriptions, we have an NPS score of 86 and over a thousand five-star reviews on Yelp.

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