The Biden administration is starting to ration doses of monoclonal antibodies being used by states for treating Covid patients.
Several southern states with Republican leadership have adopted the Regeneron or GlaxoSmithKline treatments as a tool to fight Covid, showing promise when used early.
Seven states in total – Texas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana and Alabama – purchased 70% of the orders made in September so far.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which oversees the distribution of the monoclonal antibodies, is upping their weekly shipment from 100,000 to 150,000, but the states that use the most will now be limited.
However, what the administration is really doing is manufacturing a shortage that will only be hurting states with GOP governors.
This decision comes at an interesting time as almost all of the seven states purchasing the majority of the doses were experiencing a drop in cases.
Yahoo News reported last week, “Since mid-August, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, and Mississippi have seen a decline in their seven-day average of new confirmed COVID-19 cases.”
In Louisiana, cases dropped 60% since mid-August and in Texas, cases have plateaued.
Now, Tennessee Health Department spokesperson Sarah Tanksley is already telling POLITICO that the HHS rationing of state orders is resulting in delays getting the drugs to providers.
President of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, Dr. Aruna Arora, is also worried about the Biden administration’s announcement.
Dr. Arora released a statement saying that physicians in Alabama are “very concerned” about the move to limit supply and access.
“We’re calling on the federal government to help us provide more of this treatment – not less – so we can save lives and keep COVID patients out of the hospital,” the doctor said.
Dr. Arora noted that many patients who receive monoclonal antibody treatments feel better within 24 to 49 hours, and suggested if someone does test positive for COVID-19, they should immediately talk to a physician and see if they qualify for monoclonal antibody treatment, adding, “It can be a life-saver if given in the first 10 days of symptoms.”
If it’s administered within ten days of the initial infection, the treatment can reduce the need to hospitalize a COVID patient by 70 percent, according to medical experts.
In Texas, Congressman Chip Roy penned a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra regarding reports that numerous doctors and healthcare professionals who serve COVID-19 patients in the state are already being denied or limited orders for these treatments by the federal agency.
“These recent changes have appeared to have an immediate effect on the ability to expeditiously care for and treat COVID-19 patients,” Roy wrote Monday. “It is essential that providers have the freedom to choose what treatments are most suitable for their patients without interference or delays caused by your department.”
The congressman asked HHS to respond to the following questions:
- For what reasons, and by whom, was this change authorized?
- Is there a current or expected shortage of any monoclonal antibody treatments in the U.S.?
a. If so, which treatments?
- Nationally, how many doses of each antibody treatment, including bamlanivimab,
- bamlanivimab/etesevimab, and casirivimab/imdevimab, are currently available?
- Your notice indicates this is a temporary change. If this is the case, when does HHS plan
- to revert to normal procedures for ordering these antibody treatments?
- Under what regulatory or statutory authority is HHS operating under to limit and review
- orders or limiting these orders to sites with HHSProtect accounts?
- Is HHS prioritizing providers with HHSProtect accounts for fulfillment of orders of mAb
- Is HHS reviewing all U.S. provider mAb treatment orders?
The move by the Biden administration could result in thousands of deaths throughout the nation.
For more information on the importance of early treatment and how monoclonal antibodies, ivermectin and other medicines can fight Covid, watch the groundbreaking interview below with Texas Dr. Richard Bartlett and Alex Jones.