“I feel nauseous when I come home at night because I feel like I’m deciding, with these limited resources, who should get it,” Dr. Christian Ramers, an infectious disease specialist at the Family Health Centers in San Diego, a network of clinics for patients with low incomes, he told the newspaper.
Ramers clinics had to turn down a majority – about 90 percent – of the hundreds of people who call every day seeking the COVID treatment to which they are entitled, he added.
“It’s devastating to say to these patients, ‘Sorry, there’s nothing we can do for you, we only have to save this medicine for our most severely immunocompromised,'” Erin McCreary, infectious disease. pharmacist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, he said Times.
Monoclonal antibodies, administered intravenously, were the primary treatment for newly infected patients. However, the two most common species do not seem to keep Omicron at bay.
One monoclonal antibody that is effective against Omicron, developed by GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology, has a limited supply. The federal government has ordered only about 450,000 courses of treatment Times reported. The United States did not immediately order stockpiles of that treatment when it was approved in May last year because it already had a large stockpile of other antibody treatments.
Meanwhile, Paxlovid is new, powerful antiviral pill from Pfizer approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration two weeks ago. But supplies of that drug are also scarce. Paxlovid’s supplies will not be in abundance until April, although the Biden administration doubled its order this week. Large quantities of the drug are only now becoming available because it takes eight months to produce the tablets. Times reported.
The focus of some providers now is to use these limited medications to help people who have a weakened immune system or who have not been vaccinated.
Patrick Creighton, 48, a sports radio host in Katy, Texas, fell ill with COVID over the holidays and managed to get some Paxlovid pills, but it took him two visits to telehealth and 19 calls to pharmacies before he had them in his hands.