Newly authorized COVID-19 antibody treatment may be available soon on LI

Northwell Health medical professionals say now that the FDA has granted emergency use authorization for the experimental antibody treatment made by the New York-based biotech company Regeneron, it gives doctors another option to treat patients as cases continue to rise.

News 12 Staff

Nov 22, 2020, 10:44 PM

Updated 1,299 days ago

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Northwell Health medical professionals say now that the FDA has granted emergency use authorization for the experimental antibody treatment made by the New York-based biotech company Regeneron, it gives doctors another option to treat patients as cases continue to rise.
They say it's a gamechanger for patients who are at high risk who are not yet very sick.
By Monday or Tuesday of this week, doctors say the antibody therapy will available at a set up infusion center at South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore
The infusion is given through an IV for patients with early symptoms and those who are at high risk with underlying conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.
"We think it will prevent people from going on to be very sick, so that's why it's sort of being reserved for patients who are at higher risk for getting sick and not just everyone who tests positive for COVID," says Dr. Mangela Narasimhan, head of critical care services at Northwell Health.
This was the same treatment given to President Donald Trump shortly after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 in October.
Doctors say evidence, so far, suggests that it works best early in the course of the disease, before the virus has gained a foothold in the body. It is not authorized for use in people who are hospitalized or who need oxygen.
Regeneron says it has a number of doses ready to go and doctors say that in addition to the infusion center at South Shore University Hospital, the drug will be pushed out to other medical centers very soon.
"I think it's a fantastic step in the right direction," says Diana Berrent, who is a COVID-19 Survivor and founder of Survivor Corps. She says while this is great news, she questions whether there will there be a fair distribution and if it will be affordable.
"Are we distributing this information in multiple languages? We need to make sure that education and access is a huge part of this plan," Berrent says.
Although the first 300,000 doses will be provided free of charge, patients may be charged for having the treatment administered, which may be covered by most insurance.


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