May 20, 2021, 8:46 a.m. News Staff — While vaccines have grabbed most of the spotlight in preventing individuals from contracting SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for causing COVID-19, monoclonal antibodies have served as a valuable treatment option to prevent hospitalization in patients with mild to moderate cases of the disease.
Currently, two investigational monoclonal antibody combination therapies are available under emergency use authorizations from the FDA: casirivimab and imdevimab and bamlanivimab and etesevimab. The FDA has authorized the use of these therapies in patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are at high risk for progressing to a severe case of the disease, hospitalization or both, and issued major updates to the EUAs for these therapies on May 14. These updates include the additional populations at increased risk, information on variants and new data supporting use of the therapeutics.
On May 27 at 2 p.m. CT, the AAFP and the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response will present a one-hour webinar on the use of monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19. Participants will include Sarah Coles, M.D., chair of the AAFP Commission on Health of the Public and Science and an assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix Family Medicine Residency, and Michael Anderson, M.D., M.B.A., a senior advisor to ASPR on COVID-19 therapeutics.
The webinar will be divided into four 15-minute segments and will feature
AAFP members can access the webinar using the identification number and passcode on the Academy’s webpage for COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatments.
“This is a great opportunity for family physicians to learn more about the role of and emerging evidence for monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19,” said Coles. “We will talk about some practical uses, strategies and barriers to implementation, and navigating uncertainty in the face of rapidly changing science.”
Because monoclonal antibodies are administered via infusion and given to individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, family physicians may not be able to offer the therapy directly to patients. However, recent evidence suggests that monoclonal antibodies may be effective in reducing the risk of COVID-related hospitalization and death, particularly in elderly patients.
To help FPs and other health care providers facilitate care for their patients, HHS has established a therapeutics distribution map to help find potential treatment locations.
In addition, a call center is available to answer questions and provide information on monoclonal antibody therapies in English (877-332-6585) and Spanish (877-366-0310).