Monoclonal Antibodies For COVID Suffer Access Problems Due To Limited Infusion Reimbursement
Unused supply for the Lilly and Regeneron therapies has policymakers considering Medicare payment changes for providers managing outpatient infusion, but those may require legislation. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine committee considers the ‘paradox of unused supply with a relatively scarce product’ and tries to dissect the challenges that may be contributing to the unexpected lack of take-up for the mABs.
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US hopes more publicity will boost use of Lilly and Regeneron COVID-19 antibodies, once anticipated to be in short supply, but federal officials lack any other clear strategy to help overwhelmed health systems. Meanwhile Operation Warp Speed is testing the treatments against new virus variants and working on developing antibody cocktails that could avoid escape mutants as FDA issues guidance on potency assays for sponsors.
Vir believes its single antibody will be effective against rising mutant forms of COVID-19. Phase III data from two ongoing trials are expected in the first quarter.
As distribution of Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody treatment for coronavirus begins, OWS officials worry about provider confusion with Lilly’s product due to differences in preparation and administration.