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New COVID-19 treatment now in Madison County

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REXBURG, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Madison Memorial will be among the first medical facilities nationwide to implement the just-released monoclonal antibody treatment known as bamlanivimab.

Madison Memorial will begin administering the treatment on Tuesday, Nov. 17. Developed by Eli Lilly and Company, this investigational medicine is comparable to the treatment that President Trump received after he contracted coronavirus last month.

On Monday, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the use of bamlanivimab to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 in adult and pediatric patients 12 and older. The procedure involves a one-time intravenous infusion and is intended for high-risk patients at the onset of SARS-CoV-2. Bamlanivimab was shown in clinical trials to reduce COVID-19 hospitalizations and ER visits in patients who presented a high probability of potential disease progression.

The treatment is not authorized for patients who are already hospitalized or who require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19. Rather, its intended use is for high-risk patients in whom the disease has not yet progressed to that phase. It is an outpatient procedure, not one for patients who have already been admitted to the hospital for inpatient stays.

“We’re excited to be receiving a number of these bamlanivimab treatment kits,” said Dorsie Sullenger, Pharmacy Director at Madison Memorial. “Monoclonal antibodies, which we refer to as ‘mAbs,’ have been shown to be quite effective, especially when given early enough in the infection of the patient.”

To maximize the safety of patients and staff, Madison Memorial has set up a dedicated satellite facility, located inside the Madison Memorial Rexburg Medical Clinic, for COVID-positive patients who will be receiving bamlanivimab treatments. Trained infusion therapists will administer the procedures to a limited number of pre-qualified patients who’ve tested positive within the previous three days, and for whom the risk of disease progression is high.

“For a mid-sized regional healthcare facility, Madison Memorial once again has shown that state-of-the-art care is available right here, in our own community, right now," Dr. Clay Prince, Chief Medical Officer at Madison Memorial, said. "From the FDA’s emergency release on Monday, to deployment and implementation here in Madison County only a week later, the hospital’s response has been both immediate and impressive.”

The selection of appropriate patients for the treatment will be done by our local community of providers and confirmed by Madison Memorial prior to administration. The hospital will be reaching out to educate local physicians regarding the availability of this exciting new tool in our fight to curtail the effects of the ongoing pandemic.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus Coverage

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