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CCH advises on availability of monoclonal antibody drugs

CCH advises on availability of monoclonal antibody drugs

GILLETTE, WY – Campbell County Health (CCH) has been advised of a nationwide change in how the monoclonal antibody drugs (mAbs) are distributed to administration sites, due to a substantial surge in utilization of these drugs. This includes Campbell County Health and the monoclonal antibody treatment program in Campbell County Medical Group’s Complex and Internal Medicine clinic. Effective September 13, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) transitioned from a direct ordering process for mAbs to a state-coordinated distribution system, similar to that used from November 2020-February 2021.

This may affect the availability of monoclonal antibody drugs in the short term; however, the transition to a state-coordinated distribution system will give health departments maximum flexibility to get these critical drugs where they are needed most. HHS will determine each state’s weekly amount of mAb products based on COVID-19 case burden and mAb utilization.

HHS will determine weekly distribution amounts for each state based on weekly reports of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in addition to data on inventories and use. State Health Departments will determine where the product goes in their jurisdictions. HHS will continue to monitor product utilization rates, COVID-19 case burden, and overall availability of mAbs to determine when a shift back to the normal direct ordering process may be possible.

“While this news can seem alarming, we are confident in the Wyoming Department of Health and their ability to manage this medication effectively for those who need it,” says Dr. Robert Neuwirth, monoclonal antibody infusion program medical director.

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made molecules that act as substitute antibodies. They can help your immune system recognize and respond more effectively to the virus, making it more difficult for the virus to reproduce and cause harm. When given early, within seven to 10 days of infection, mAb can reduce the risk of a patient progressing to severe COVID-19 disease and needing hospitalization. The treatment can also shorten the duration of COVID-19 symptoms.

Patients should continue to contact their primary care provider regarding monoclonal antibody therapy, and all types of treatment for COVID. Patient must have an order from their provider for this infusion.