Last week, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) revoked an emergency use authorization which had been given for monoclonal antibody treatments from Regeneron (casirivimab plus imdevimab) and Eli Lilly (bamlanivimab plus etesevimab), commonly known as BAM. These treatments had been used in patients with Covid-19 who met certain criteria as determined by their primary care provider. The formulas were developed to help fight an infection by making it more difficult for the virus to reproduce within the body. However, both Regeneron and Eli Lilly have stated that the treatments that they developed for earlier strains of Covid-19 are not effective in treating the Omicron variant without additional changes and testing. Because Omicron is now the dominant variant in the nation, the use of these two therapeutic treatments is being halted.
Due to this change directed by the FDA, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has halted distribution of these medications to all health care facilities, including Decatur County Hospital.
There is one remaining monoclonal antibody treatment (Sotrovimab) that is authorized to treat the Omicron variant. Just like past treatments, patients must meet certain criteria before receiving treatment, and must have an order sent to DCH from their primary care provider.
The FDA is charged with allocating this treatment throughout the nation. In Iowa, the IDPH will be responsible for allocating the treatment to local facilities. Decatur County Hospital will work closely with IDPH to request doses of this treatment to have on hand to treat our community members. We plan to request as many doses as allowed by IDPH and the FDA.