The Canary Islands have administered anticovid pills to 139 patients since April

Archive image of a pharmacist with a monoclonal antibody drug against covid at the Negrín Hospital Pharmacy. / COVER

None of the patients treated has required hospitalization. Spain has only spent 2% of the Paxlovid stock for which it paid 238 million

Carmen Delia Aranda

The dispensing of oral treatment against covid
Paxlovid it is not simple. However, the Canary Islands have applied a protocol that has facilitated the access of people with a higher risk of suffering from severe covid to this antiviral and,
as of June 8, 139 infected people had been treated with this drug of the islands. None of them have required hospitalization or developed severe covid, despite having high-risk profiles.

difficulty dispensing the anitiviral is that the profile of the patients to whom it is addressed is very specific, it has to be administered in the first five days after the onset of symptoms and the procedures for dispensing it are complex.

For this reason, in Spain, until June 2, only 1,218 treatments had been dispensed, barely 2.35% of the 51,649 acquired for 238 million euros.


  • two
    154 treatments. That is the amount of Paxlovid provided to the Canary Islands by the Ministry of Health

  • 10% of all used
    Of the 1,218 treatments dispensed in Spain as of June 3, about 10% were administered on the islands

  • From Primary Care
    More than half of the Paxlovid treatments administered in the Canary Islands were prescribed from the archipelago's health centers

About 10% of the medicines of this type used throughout the State have been provided in the Canary Islands, which has received 2,154 doses from the Ministry of Health. In other words, until June 8, the archipelago had used 6% of the available Paxlovid reserves.

"55% of the prescriptions have been made from Primary Care," explains Miguel Díaz Barreiros, coordinator of the covid teams of the Primary Care Management in Gran Canaria.


“It is a medicine that is not valid for everyone and
it is only prescribed with precise indications», explains the specialist in Family Medicine. Once Paxlovid is prescribed, there are many drug interactions that rule out its use in many patients.

Specifically, infected people who receive the drug have to meet the following requirements; have a severe immune deficiency, be over 80 years old without vaccination, vaccinated more than six months ago or with a risk factor and over 65 years old without vaccination and with some high-risk condition against covid.

There are not many patients who fall within the indication because most of those over 80 years of age are vaccinated and, even when treatment is indicated, many people have it contraindicated due to interaction with other medications”, explains Díaz.

In addition, another factor that makes its administration difficult is that it must be administered within the first five days after the onset of symptoms. «A limiting element that we have is time: we have made agile circuits. The normal thing, when we detect a positive, is that the first evaluation is carried out within the first five days, ”indicates the coordinator of the Gran Canaria covid teams.

agile process

“Few patients have not been able to be indicated for a matter of time. We are agile in the first assessment.
On the same day that the prescription is validated, the patient is called to provide the medication», clarifies Díaz about this obstacle.

The bureaucratic and medical process has several steps. “In Primary Care, the treatment is prescribed and then that request goes to the hospital pharmacy so that they can check if you are taking other hospital medications that contraindicate it. There the prescription is validated and the patient is called, ”says the coordinator of the covid teams.

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