Local hospitals dealing with decreased supply of Regeneron

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 5:21 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - Hospitals in Midland and Odessa say they’re dealing with a low supply of the COVID-19 therapy drug Regeneron.

Midland Memorial Hospital announced Thursday that it was immediately cutting back on the use of the drug after the federal government cut Texas’ supply of Regeneron in half.

The government is scaling back supplies after a report came out that 70% of Regeneron therapy treatments in the nation are in states with low vaccination rates.

MMH President and CEO Russell Meyers says that on average, the hospital sees 40 Regeneron patients a day. That won’t be the case going forward.

Effective immediately, MMH will only use Regeneron on patients who are:

-High risk

-Over the age of 50

-Body mass index is over 35

-Other comorbid conditions

Odessa health officials also say they’re dealing with a high demand for the treatment.

Rodd Huber, the Assistant Chief of Emergency Medical Services says that the City of Odessa reached out to local clinics to keep up with the demand. The City received more than 132 extra doses, but those may only be enough to last two or three more days.

Doctor Rohith Saravanan, the Chief Medical Officer of Odessa Regional Medical Center, stressed the importance of getting a COVID-19 vaccination. Dr. Saravanan says that, in addition to taking stress off the Regeneron demand, it would also save taxpayers money.

“Each Regeneron cocktail, that two-drug cocktail, per infusion on average costs about one thousand two hundred and fifty per infusion, one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars; the COVID-19 vaccine on average costs twenty dollars, so just look at the difference between what you can achieve with so much lower cost for the entire system,” Dr. Saravanan said.

As of Thursday afternoon, Huber said he wasn’t sure if any changes would be made in how patients in Odessa are selected to receive the drug.

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