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Supply running low, monoclonal antibodies in high demand

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 5:41 PM EDT
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(WYMT) - With some signs that the latest surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have plateaued, current levels leave hospitals stretched thin.

Monoclonal antibodies are a treatment for people with mild to moderate symptoms, they are in short supply.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in demand from the community,” said Dr. Jeffrey Akers, the CEO of Pharmaceutical Services at Appalachian Regional Health. “And we’ve stepped up our efforts to provide the monoclonal antibodies as well.”

Supply is holding steady for ARH, but rationing is preventing them from expanding services.

”We gave, last week, almost 600 doses,” he said. “So that’s definitely a new record for us. If that trend were to continue then yeah we would definitely not be able to meet that demand based on limited supply.”

ARH hospitals are just some of the locations for monoclonal antibodies in Eastern Kentucky. Baptist Health Corbin is another, and they are facing supply problems as well according to Josh Bowling, the Pharmacy Manager. They even ran out Monday night, and not for the first time.

”This is actually the second time we have temporarily run out of run out of supply,” he said.

They were able to get a shipment the next day, but officials say things will remain inconsistent as long as demand is high and supply low.

Governor Andy Beshear warned in a COVID-19 briefing on Monday that monoclonal antibodies will not be the best tool to fight COVID-19, especially as many have to ration their current supplies.

”We will meet the legislative intent of having at least one provider in each of the area development districts, but there’s not going to be enough anywhere,” he said.

Officials at Saint Joseph London said they do about 100-120 doses per week, but that they also may not be able to keep that up as supply decreases.

Kentucky will start receiving less doses of this treatment as nationwide demand grows.

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