Expert explains reasons for scarcity in antibody treatments

Expert explains reasons for scarcity in antibody treatments
Published: Feb. 1, 2022 at 9:04 PM EST
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ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - The FDA has only approved one monoclonal antibody treatment.

Onslow County resident Shelly Bishop says she received the Sotrovimab treatment. “I didn’t feel well Tuesday, but by Wednesday I was fine,” Bishop said.

Since Bishop is fully boosted and already had COVID, she didn’t anticipate catching it again. “I had COVID back in August. So, I really thought I would skate under the line this time,” she said.

Thankfully, Bishop was able to get the monoclonal antibody treatment that she said helped. “I think it really lessened the time I was not feeling well and boosted my antibodies,” she explained.

If Bishop would have contracted the virus any later, she could have been at risk of not getting the treatment at all because now healthcare providers have fewer treatments to choose from.

“Eli Lilly and Regen-Cov are not effective against Omicron, so the FDA actually cut the authorization for those. So we went from having three different treatments to a third now,” Dr. Arin Piramzadian, StarMed Primary and Urgent Care chief medical officer said.

Piramzadian said StarMed, like other hospitals, has one antibody treatment that works: Sotrovimab.

“With the big wave we had, there were so many people sick. We had to be very strict on who received this medication,” Piramzadian said.

On top of that, they have very little of the medication too.

“It’s a national shortage. It’s a whole worldwide shortage because everyone’s trying to get it,” Piramzadian said.

As a result, the hospital is saving what they do have for the people who need it most.

According to Priamzadian, people who are immunocompromised, have a high-risk factor, or have not had COVID-19 vaccines or a booster can currently get the treatment.

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