Biden-Harris Administration Purchases Additional Doses of Bebtelovimab to Treat High-risk COVID-19 Patients
On June 29, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Defense, ordered an additional 150,000 doses of bebtelovimab for use in treating patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are at high risk of hospitalization from the infection. The medicine is administered as an injection and is the only monoclonal antibody medication currently found to be effective for treating infections from the SARS-COV-2 omicron variant and sub-variants.
This commitment brings the total U.S. government purchase of bebtelovimab to 750,000 doses. This latest purchase and the doses available from previous purchases are expected to meet current demand levels through late-August. The U.S. government intends these newly procured doses to provide a bridge while it supports Lilly to create a path for keeping bebtelovimab available in the U.S. in the absence of additional future government funding.
“Therapeutic treatments for COVID-19 have helped reduce hospitalizations, which means they have prevented countless deaths from this illness while decreasing the burden on overworked hospital staff,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell. “We are pleased to make this purchase, though we had to shift funds from other important programs in order to make it. As such we will continue to work with Congress to secure additional funding for the critically important tools needed to protect Americans during the pandemic.
The medicine must be administered within seven days of symptom onset and is available with a prescription from a health care provider. The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), which funded the latest purchase, also created a therapeutics locator for health care providers to assist their patients in filling prescriptions for bebtelovimab and a therapeutics clinical decision aid to help clinicians determine which of the available products is most likely to be effective for individual patients.
The government-procured COVID-19 therapeutics can be used to prevent or treat eligible, non-hospitalized patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, have mild to moderate symptoms and are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and hospitalization. Prevention and early treatment for eligible patients can help improve patient outcomes, reduce stress on healthcare facilities, and even save lives.
HHS/ASPR is actively partnering with state and territorial health departments as well as national health care and medical organizations and associations to help ensure equitable access to the treatments for those who need it most.
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