Monoclonal antibody treatment distribution changing

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 10:13 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The Alabama Department of Public Health is speaking about the possibility of a shortage in monoclonal antibody treatments after the federal government said it would limit Alabama’s access to the treatment.

In a press release, ADPH said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has moved from ordering directly from the manufacturer to a state-coordinated distribution system on September 13th, in order to help ensure the consistent availability of these critical products for current and future patients.

“During this transition, our highest priority will be to ensure that the ordering process for monoclonal antibodies is in place, so Alabama healthcare providers can be sent needed products as soon as possible,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said.

HHS will determine each state’s weekly amount of the product based on cases and use on a week-by-week basis, according to the press release. HHS will continue to monitor product utilization rates, COVID-19 case burden and the overall availability of monoclonal antibodies to determine when a shift back to the normal direct ordering process may be possible.

Providers will prioritize patients based on their risk progression to severe COVID disease. Treatment should be given as soon as possible after close contact with someone who is COVID positive.

ADPH says the surge in the Delta variant has caused the use of monoclonal antibody treatment to surge. The department does say the treatment is not a replacement for the vaccine.

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