Hospitals Are Rationing COVID Pills, Infusions as Cases Rise

Friday, January 7, 2022 – It’s the ultimate irony: There are more COVID-19 treatments now than at any other time during the pandemic, but the sheer number of cases from the growing Omicron variant could mean you can’t get them when you need them most. to her.

Once again, doctors and health systems are in the difficult situation of rationing supplies to meet the needs of those who are in the most difficult situations, The New York Times mentioned.

Compounding the dilemma, not all injections and pills intended to treat people with COVID work well against the Omicron variant.

“There is simply not enough to meet the needs of everyone who will contract COVID in the coming weeks and be at risk of serious complications,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan’s chief medical officer. times. “I don’t think there’s a way to make sure it gets to the right people at the moment.”

To deal with supply shortages, health care providers are developing algorithms to determine who receives treatment. Some providers are left with only a few dozen courses for patients who have yet to come. Some give some patients vitamins instead of approved medications.

Among those refused treatment are those at high risk of complications but have been vaccinated times mentioned.

Dr. Matthew K. said: times. He is director of the University of Colorado’s Center for Bioethics and Humanities and has advised the state on how to legalize COVID treatments.

Staff are rushing to develop algorithms to help them ration supplies with patients, while also dealing with staff shortages, said Dr. Kelly Gibbow, an infectious disease and epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University. times.

“It’s frustrating as health care workers when we can’t provide optimal care when our resources are limited,” Gibo said.

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 such a 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, told the newspaper.

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.

“It should be accessible to everyone,” Creighton said. times.

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