TRI-CITIES, Tenn./Va. (WJHL) – State and federal level guidelines have changed for medical providers who distribute monoclonal antibodies as a treatment for COVID-19 patients.
The US Department of Health and Human Services reported that the Delta variant has caused “a substantial increase in the use of monoclonal antibody drugs, especially in areas of the country with low vaccination rates.”
The department said the change in distribution protocol allows more flexibility to bring treatments to areas where they are needed most.
In a statement released Monday, the Tennessee Department of Health shared the following statement with News Channel 11 regarding its procedures for distributing monoclonal antibodies:
“Our recommendation to monoclonal antibody providers or individual facilities across the state is that if they are to prioritize treatment delivery, NIH guidelines are the recommended approach for that prioritization, including prioritizing those who are the most likely to be hospitalized. Ultimately, it depends on the clinical judgment of providers to ensure that those most at risk receive this treatment. Statewide claimants continue to receive treatment; However, we do not have an allowance update for this week.
Bill Christian, TDH
In a statement Thursday, Ballad Health told News Channel 11 that there is no substitute for COVID-19 prevention and vaccination, but there are promising treatments if a patient is infected, especially if cases are detected early.
“Monoclonal antibodies are one of the best options for keeping people out of the hospital,” the statement said.
Since monoclonal antibody therapy received emergency use approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last December, Ballad Health has provided 2,504 infusions to date. And, as cases increase, so will demand, the hospital system maintained.
“Ballad Health wants our patients to know that the process of getting MAB treatment will not change at this time – patients will still go through their provider to be referred for monoclonal antibody treatment at Ballad Health clinics, and we will welcome as many people as possible. we are capable with the supply that has been provided to us by the States, ”the statement continued. “Ballad Health will continue to follow state guidelines and advocate for the best interests of all of our patients. “
The COVID-19 treatment guidelines outlined by the National Institute of Health can be found HERE.