LIMA — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to discontinue use of two monoclonal antibody therapies for COVID-19 has left Lima hospitals with limited ability to offer the treatments in high-risk cases.
The FDA on Tuesday advised against the use of the Eli Lilly and Regeneron monoclonal antibody treatments, both of which were overwhelmed by the omicron variant of coronavirus, leaving Sotrovimab the only monoclonal antibody treatment available for those at high risk of developing severe disease from COVID-19.
Meanwhile, oral therapeutics Paxlovid and Molnupiravir are in limited supply.
Dr. Matthew Owens, chief clinical officer for Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center, said the center has already depleted its weekly allotment of Sotrovimab.
The hospital quickly ran out of Paxlovid, too, after it received a shipment of the oral therapeutic two weeks ago, although it still has some Molnupiravir in stock, Owens added.
Officials at the Lima Memorial Health System have encountered similar supply constraints, which mean fewer patients who may qualify for monoclonal antibody therapies or oral therapeutics have access to either treatment at a time when coronavirus infections remain high.
“(It’s) not nearly as much as we would need,” said Dr. Dennis Morris, vice president and chief medical officer for Lima Memorial.
While the monoclonal antibody therapies and oral therapeutics are in short supply, vaccines that protect against severe disease from COVID-19 are widely available.