Feb 2022

Update on COVID-19 Therapeutics



Recently, the BCCDC posted guidelines on available therapeutics for COVID-19 for mild to moderately ill patients. Given the volume of medications currently available and the challenges in safely prescribing certain medications, a phased approach will be used in their roll-out. Currently, providers are prioritizing treatment to patients at greatest risk from COVID-19, which includes those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.


How can eligible symptomatic patients access treatment

In order to be considered for treatment, patients with symptoms who meet the criteria for therapeutic intervention should be referred for testing by their health-care provider.


At testing sites, staff conduct an initial screening of symptomatic clients, who will be tested as per BCCDC guidelines. If a patient tests positive, information determined at the test site, in addition to a patient’s medical history will support in determining their eligibility for treatment.


Referral process for community patients

VCH has established a central intake process which will operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. This team is responsible for reviewing laboratory data and clinical history from positive patients, in consultation with Infectious Disease physicians. If a patient is deemed eligible, this team will liaise with the individual directly to schedule an appointment for intravenous Sotrovimab treatment, or to share information on how they can access oral medication in the community. This may include contacting their local pharmacy who will lead in dispensing the appropriate medication to the patient.


A VCH/PHC referral form is available for clinicians who identify a client that may be eligible for treatment. Physicians can submit completed referrals via email COVID.therapy@vch.ca or fax 604.875.5375.


Note: A separate referral and follow-up process has been established for both long-term care and for clients in the Downtown Eastside without a fixed address, and shared directly to relevant health-care providers.


Further supports for prescribers

The province has developed a range of supports for clinicians, including clinical guidelines, practice tool, and step-by-step assessment, available below:

Health Care Provider Information on Sotrovimab (Xevudy) and Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir (Paxlovid)

CTC clinical practice guide

Practice tool 1 – assessment guide for clinicians

Practice tool 2 – CEV Criteria

Practice tool 3 – drug interactions and contraindications

The treatments section is here.


Support with prescribing Paxlovid

A provincial COVID-19 antiviral support line for clinicians is available by calling 1-866-604-5924. This line is staffed by pharmacists that both prescribers and pharmacists can call for support regarding safely prescribing Paxlovid. The line is available from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.