Are We Doing Our Best to Save Lives?

I was watching an interview with Health and Human Services Secretay Alex Asar on TV. The conversation was mostly about the rollout of the COViD-19 vaccines. However, when he asked about the new treatments, my ears perked up. The treatments that put President Trump right back n his feet after being infected. Secretary Asar said the combination of monoclonal Antibodies, Remdesivir, and steroids were now widely available. However, in many cases, he lamented doctors weren’t using them early enough—this problem-centered on monoclonal antibodies. Waiting till a patient ends up in the hospital may be too late to be effective.

Confirmation of this problem wasn’t long in coming. On Face the Nation, Eli Lily CEO David Ricks complained his company’s monoclonal antibody treatment was piling up unused in warehouses. The monoclonal antibody regimen needs infusion centers. We’ve done this for chemotherapy for decades. Of course, they take place in different places. Ricks implored people at high-risk testing positive or with symptoms to ask their doctor about the treatment’s availability. Do we have to ask for the treatment the President received?

This revelation was dismaying. We have known almost from the pandemic’s beginning the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions are the ones most at risk. The vast majority of these people are under a doctor’s care. How hard is it to start the regimen as soon as someone reports symptoms or tests positive? The doctors should know where the patient can get treated and send them there. If it isn’t available, the doctors need to determine why not and push to rectify the situation. The at-risk are the ones jamming the hospital ICUs and, unfortunately, dying.

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