US hospitals, facing high demand and tight supplies, may limit use of Eli Lilly's antibody drug bamlanivimab to COVID-19 patients with multiple risk factors for serious illness or to those whose immune systems have not begun to fight the infection, as reported in This is Money.
The FDA granted an emergency-use authorization to bamlanivimab for patients over age 65 recently diagnosed with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 and patients with obesity, diabetes, or another risk factor. However, the agency said the therapy should not be used in hospitalized patients.
Medical groups and hospitals said they are working to establish criteria for which patients are likely to benefit most from bamlanivimab, which consists of manufactured copies of an antibody made by the human body to fight COVID-19.
"There will be a lot of pressure on physicians," said Adarsh Bhimraj, an infectious disease specialist at the Cleveland Clinic and chair of the Infectious Diseases Society of America's guidelines panel, which is still discussing its recommendations for the treatment.
The federal government has paid $1250 per dose for 300,000 doses of bamlanivimab, which experts estimate may only be enough for one weeks' worth of Americans becoming infected, based on the FDA label identifying appropriate patients.
The US has the option to buy another 650,000 doses, but hospitals expect the therapy will eventually become a commercial product, the news source said.
To read more NewsPoints articles, click here.