Health care providers can now request monoclonal antibodies from Dept. of Health

Photo courtesy of the New York State Department of Health

The state Department of Health announced that health care providers in New York can now request supplies of COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapeutics directly from the agency, through an online ordering process.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services transitioned from the direct ordering process for monoclonal antibodies from the distributor, AmerisourceBergen, to a state-coordinated distribution system in mid-September to ensure the consistent availability of these therapeutics.

While the vaccine still offers the best protection against COVID-19, monoclonal antibodies can be effective at decreasing hospitalization rates and progression to severe disease and death for patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. 

The therapeutics are delivered by intravenous infusion or subcutaneous injection to help fight infection by binding it to the virus, preventing it from operating in the body.

Health and Human Services will determine each state’s weekly allotment of monoclonal antibody products based on cases and use on a week-by-week basis. The New York State Department of Health will then determine how much product each health care provider receives based on the supply allotted to the state from the federal government.

The Department will inform the distributor, AmerisourceBergen, of each provider’s request and how much of the request should be filled. The therapeutic products that will be available through this process are Bamlanivimab/etesevimab, Etesevimab — to pair with bamlanivimab already on hand — and Casirivimab/imdevimab.

“Ensuring prompt and equitable access to these potentially life-saving therapeutics is another vital tool in our fight against this dangerous virus,” said Health Commissioner Howard Zucker. “While getting vaccinated still provides the best protection against COVID-19, the purpose of these therapeutics is to reduce the severity of symptoms and improve patient outcomes.”