Newsletter: The path to recovery
Expert coverage of how post-epidemic businesses and economies are recovering. Delivered 3 times a week.
Celine Rico was worried when she contracted the Covid-1 contract because she had diabetes, which puts people at risk for serious illness. But like millions of immune Americans, he went to a health center last month for a monoclonal antibody usion and within a few days he was feeling better.
“A nurse told me it was the same infusion that was given to President Trump when he was caught Covid-1 and he got better,” Rico told the Financial Times.
“This was another reason I was confident about getting medical treatment: they’re not going to do anything crazy to the president.”
According to official data, the demand for antibody treatments made by Regeneron and Eli Lilly has increased 20-fold since mid-July as a deadly wave of Covid-1 of the wave hit the nation. The company said similar sales of similar products made by GlaxoSmithKline in August were three times higher than in July.
Increasing awareness about the treatment, opening of new antibody infusion centers and low vaccination rates are increasing the demand for the infection in the state and increasing the multi-billion dollar revenue of the manufacturers.
But it has also created a supply crisis in some states, who need access to expensive antibody treatments, and for those who do not want to be vaccinated.
Last month, the federal government took control of the distribution of antibody treatment stocks from Amerisource Bergen due to concerns about the unfair allocation of doses.
Data show that seven southern states received more than half the dose in the week beginning September 13th. Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee – six states had immunization rates below the national average.
The governors of Florida and Texas, who both opposed the vaccine order and praised the antibody treatment, criticized the federal government’s policy change and ordered an additional supply of Sotrovimab directly to meet the expected deficit.
“This misguided leadership was saying, you know, monoclonal antibodies are great and vaccines aren’t so great. And it’s really going in the wrong direction,” said Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute.
“Many people who are anti-wax think that if they are sick they can just go and get antibodies. But it doesn’t work that way. ”
Health experts warn that antibody treatments only work well when they are used shortly after a Covid-1 infection and do not provide long-term protection against the type of vaccine that is given against the virus. They say they can play an important role in preventing people at the greatest risk of becoming seriously ill but should not be used as a first line of defense against the virus.
As well as the risk of relying on Covid-1 treatments instead of vaccines to deal with Covid-1t, the cost of the drug is also much higher. Under a .9 2.9 billion deal agreed last month to help meet the medical deficit, the U.S. government is spending $ 2,100 for each dose of Regeneron’s antibody cocktail – a combination of Cassirivimab and Imdevimab.
Pfizer initially charged the U.S. government 19.50 for a single dose of its vaccine, and Modern charged the U.S. government about 15 15 per job.
The World Health Organization has asked Regeneron to lower its prices and give more equitable access to its antibody treatments worldwide.
“Ironically, vaccines are much cheaper and more effective overall. But we are in crisis and as long as we have the resources to pay for these drugs, we should use them,” said Jason Gallagher, a clinical professor at Temple University School of Pharmacy.
He said that if there was a problem, it was understandable that many people thought they could be lucky and avoid the deadly covid-1d without the vaccine. Nevertheless, they should still be given access to potentially life-saving antibody treatments, Gallagher said.
But access to antibody drugs is difficult in some parts of the United States because demand is rising.
Leonard Schleifer, chief executive of Regenron, blamed the lack of supply on policymakers and health experts, who initially avoided promoting antibody treatments that would prevent people from being vaccinated.
“The world has been very focused on vaccines and treatment,” he told the Financial Times.
“We should have educated people that vaccines are the first line of defense. But if you became ill and you did not respond to the vaccine, or you were not vaccinated, there was an effective treatment, especially when given early.
When the Delta Wave hit in August, the number of treatments delivered by Regeneron in the United States rose to 250,000 per week, up from about 1,000 in June, Schleifer said. He added that the government should sit down with the company as soon as possible to plan for demand in 2022.
Health experts say the development of antiviral pills by Mark could reduce demand for antibody treatment next year. Late-stage trial data show that Malnupirvi reduced hospital admissions and mortality rates by 50 percent. But ills have not yet been approved for use by regulators, meaning they have not yet been able to meet the current shortage of treatment.
At the Family Health Center in San Diego, where Rico was taking his antibody, the supply almost ran out last week.
“With just 100 doses in the refrigerator last week, it came very close to comfort,” said Christian Remers, an infectious disease specialist at the center.
He said the center has followed national guidelines that prioritize those most at risk from covid, meaning immunized people are at the forefront of the queue. But as a “public health-conscious person” there is no point in using such drugs on people who could have avoided the infection with a lot of cheap jabs, Rammers added.