SAN ANTONIO – With a shortage of available monoclonal therapy, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff are requesting that the federal government help in the management and distribution of the antiviral COVID-19 drug remdesivir to Regional Infusion Centers in Texas, including one in San Antonio.
In a letter addressed Thursday to US Department of Health and Human Secretary Xavier Becerra, Nirenberg and Wolff are concerned about the lack of remdesivir at community infusion centers ever since the FDA approved the drug, thus making it no longer distributed free by the federal government to infusion centers.
“Resuming federal distribution of this drug would make it accessible for the outpatient emergency response teams who have been administering the now scare monoclonal antibody infusions,” the letter said.
Sotrovimab, the monoclonal antibody therapy that has proven most effective against the omicron strain has been in short supply. Infusion centers in San Antonio and other Texas cities had to cancel distribution of the therapy to patients in late December because they ran out. Health officials say other monoclonal antibodies are not effective against the omicron variant, which accounts for more than 90% of new cases.
Remdesivir was the first anti-viral drug approved by the FDA to treat COVID-19. It’s given intravenously and can only be administered in a hospital or similar health care setting.
“Given the current surge of the highly transmissible variant omicron and the shortage of the evidenced-based therapeutic products, improving outpatient remdesivir access has the potential to improve patient care, as well as reduce hospitalizations and deaths,” the letter said.
You can read the letter in its entirety below:
Letter to Secretary Becerra by David Ibanez on Scribd