SGMC low on monoclonal antibody infusion treatment supply
New distribution plans in place for the state
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - South Georgia Medical Center has postponed monoclonal antibody infusion treatments. The Biden administration now oversees the distribution of them while shortages are reported across the state and country.
When the facility opened in early August, these treatments help keep people alive, and hospitals from surpassing capacity.
“We wanted to make sure we treated as many people as we possibly could and we still do once we re-supply. We want to continue treating as many people as possible to minimize their risk of being hospitalized or death,” said Brian Dawson, Chief Medical Officer at SGMC.
Demand is up and supply is down for monoclonal antibody infusions.
The potentially life-saving COVID-19 treatment has played a critical role in helping patients recover and avoid hospitalization.
Over 3,000 doses have been administered at SGMC in the last few months, giving over 100 per day.
Dawson explains, there’s been a change in the distribution of the laboratory-created antibodies.
“It’s my understanding now they have changed their distribution and allotment strategy, as before they were going through a national drug wholesaler, now they’re going directly to the state department of public health to get those distributed,” said Dawson.
Health care providers will no longer be able to order the treatments directly.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will determine each state’s weekly allocation based on the use and the number of new COVID-19 cases.
Georgia Department of Public Health will identify which areas will receive the product and amount.
Dawson says they hope to receive more supply within the next two weeks.
“It’s hard to predict at this point because we were already starting to see a downward trend, not just in our communities, but in the surrounding communities,” said Dawson.
He says the number of patients hospitalized is decreasing.
A small batch of supplies remains for those that come to the Emergency Department very ill.
Once SGMC receives more supplies, they plan to reopen this infusion unit.
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