The situation is reminiscent of the first part of the pandemic, when personal protective equipment and ventilators were scarce.
“I get sick when I go home at night because it makes me feel like deciding, with this limited resource, who to get it,” Dr. Christian Rammers, an infectious disease specialist at the Centers for Family Health San Diego, a network of clinics for low-income people, the paper reported.
He added that Ramers Clinics have had to turn away from most – about 90% – of the hundreds of people calling daily in search of the COVID treatments they are eligible for.
“It’s devastating to tell these patients, ‘Sorry, we can’t do anything for you, we have to save this drug only for our most severely immunocompromised,'” Erin McCreary, an infectious disease pharmacist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said. times.
Monoclonal antibodies, administered intravenously, were the primary treatment for newly infected patients. However, the two most common types do not seem to keep Omicron at bay.
A monoclonal antibody effective against Omicron, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology, is limitedly available. The federal government has only ordered about 450,000 courses of treatment times mentioned. The United States did not immediately request supplies of this treatment when it was authorized last May because it already had a large supply of other antibody treatments.
Meanwhile, Paxlovid is a new, powerful antiviral pill from Pfizer that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration two weeks ago. But supplies of this drug are also scarce. The Baxolvid supply won’t be plentiful until April, although the Biden administration doubled its demand this week. Large quantities of the treatment are only now available because it takes eight months to produce the pills times mentioned.
Some providers’ focus is now on using these limited medications to help people who have compromised immune systems or who haven’t been vaccinated.
Patrick Creighton, 48, a sports radio host in Katy, Texas, came in with COVID during the holidays and was able to get some Paxlovid pills, but it took him two telehealth visits and 19 calls to pharmacies before he had it on hand.