CLINTON, Tenn. (WATE) — An East Tennessee pharmacy has started offering a new COVID-19 treatment. It’s a monoclonal antibody treatment by Regeneron. The drug does have emergency use authorization from the FDA.
“We draw up two and a half milliliters in four different syringes from this vile,” pharmacist Tyler Dougherty explained.
Dougherty said the treatment helps lessen the symptoms of COVID-19 and helps patients recover faster.
“Monoclonal antibodies are essentially proteins that are made to attach to the spiked protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and to help neutralize that, and allow patients to heal and recover faster and prevent progression to worsening disease,” he said.
To be eligible, there are categories you have to meet. Eligible patients must be at least 12 years old and have one other risk factor.
“They have to meet one other eligibility criteria, which is either being older than 65, having a BMI of greater than 25, considered overweight, and then having chronic kidney disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease including hypertension, or any kind of lung disease,” Dougherty said.
Hospitals have offered monoclonal antibodies through infusion. Clinton Drug Store is providing them through injections.
“What you’re finding is a lot of people are on a wait list to get this at multiple hospitals because of the amount of people that are hospitalized,” Dougherty said. “It’s not going to be a save everybody and (be) an end all be all. But it is another useful tool that can help alleviate the stresses that these hospital systems are having. … I think any way that we can help our patients and be a part of the health care team is vital.”
Clinton Drug Store has done more than 10 monoclonal antibody treatments since rolling out injections last week. If you’re interested, they say you have to get in touch with your doctor first. They only do this according to a doctor’s order.
For more information, you can contact Clinton Drug Store at 865-457-1421. The FDA still says antibody treatment is not a substitute for vaccination against COVID-19.