The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Monday it would start distributing monoclonal antibody drugs to states on a weekly basis, effective immediately. State health departments will be responsible for distributing their allocation to individual sites each week.
Previously, states were able to order the antibody treatment REGEN-COV at no cost through a distributor, AmerisourceBergen. The federal government attributes the policy change to a “substantial surge” in demand for monoclonal antibody drugs as COVID-19 case counts rise, fueled by the delta variant and low vaccination rates.
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is still working to develop an allocation system, spokesperson Chris Van Deusen says. However, the health department warned “the amount available to distribute is expected to be disproportionately small compared to the amounts needed,” according to an email sent to monoclonal antibody treatment providers on Tuesday.
Three monoclonal antibody products have federal emergency use authorizations and are used in an outpatient setting to decrease the risk of hospitalization: REGEN-COV (a combination of casirivimab plus imdevimab), bamlanivimab plus etesevimab, and sotrovimab. Although HHS previously recommended physicians use only REGEN-COV and sotrovimab, it recently amended its recommendation to include bamlanivimab plus etesevimab and resumed distributing the combination.
Physicians can check the availability of monoclonal antibody treatments in their area on the state's COVID-19 therapeutics website and contact a facility directly to find out about availability. Administering the medications requires a physician’s order.
Here are additional physician resources for monoclonal antibody treatments:
Last Updated On
September 21, 2021
Originally Published On
September 17, 2021