Atrium Health expanding access to monoclonal antibody therapy
If administered within the first week of COVID-19 symptoms onset, the one-time therapy is effective in preventing symptoms from worsening.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Atrium Health has expanded access to outpatient COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatments at three locations with more to come.
If administered within the first week of COVID-19 symptoms onset, the one-time therapy is effective in preventing symptoms from worsening. The treatment is administered through IV infusion.
The treatment comes through a partnership between Atrium, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
For people who have recently tested positive for the virus who are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19 illness, or those who are unvaccinated and have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, treatment has been shown to help prevent progression of the disease that might otherwise require hospitalization.
“As an organization dedicated to shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education and compassionate patient care, we are honored to be able to offer three treatment facilities for monoclonal antibody infusions to treat COVID-19,” said Dr. Lisa Davidson, an infectious disease physician at Atrium Health in Charlotte.
In response to the growing COVID-19 case rates and the rapid spread of the Delta variant, Atrium Health has expanded access to the mAb infusion at multiple locations across the Charlotte region increasing the number of patients who can be treated each day.
Atrium Health plans to more than double capacity with the goal to continue to further expand treatment access as demand warrants.
“As Delta variant cases continue to rise in North Carolina, this treatment option offers a solution to help care for COVID-positive patients while also preventing the spread of the virus, although vaccination is still the best way to curb further spread of COVID-19,” Davidson added.
The therapy is the first COVID-19 treatment granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for outpatient use. A Phase 3 clinical trial showed that the antibody therapy reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 70 percent, or more, in patients who received the drug intravenously, compared to those who received a placebo.
“Monoclonal antibody therapy is another tool to help save lives and preserve hospital capacity in your local community,” said Dr. Elizabeth Tilson, state health director and chief medical officer of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. “Of course, vaccines remain the best protection from COVID-19 related hospitalization and death and in addition to saving lives and hospital capacity, they are also our fastest way to end this pandemic.”
The mAb treatment for eligible patients will be available Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Atrium Health locations, with expansion efforts underway to provide broader access and reach.
To confirm eligibility for the treatment, patients should contact their Atrium Health primary care physician or call 704-468-8888. There is no out-of-pocket cost to the patient for the medicine itself and treatment is offered regardless of immigration status or health insurance.
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