Panama City, FL –
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida) – As Florida seeks 100,000 monoclonal antibody treatments for people with COVID-19, Governor Ron DeSantis on Thursday pledged to “fight like hell” for continue to receive treatment as the federal government took control of drug distribution this week.
The US Department of Health and Human Services reported on its website Monday that the agency had “moved from a direct ordering process to a state / territory coordinated distribution system,” saying the change would give “health departments maximum flexibility to get these critical drugs where they are needed most.”
A handful of states, including Florida, have obtained most of the treatment available so far, according to White House officials.
But the federal health agency is now allocating weekly distribution “based on weekly reports of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in addition to inventory and use data” submitted by states to the federal government , HHS officials said.
Florida will be capped this week on receiving 27,850 doses of Regeneron monoclonal antibody therapy and 3,100 doses of treatments developed by pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, according to federal health officials.
Florida’s treatment breakdown represents the largest share of any state, with Texas coming in second with 21,720 doses of Regeneron and 2,370 doses of Eli Lilly treatments this week.
But DeSantis, who consults regularly with President Joe Biden’s administration on COVID-19 mitigation strategies, said on Thursday that the federal government is putting “barriers” in place for the state receiving the drugs, which the governor touted as an effective early treatment to combat the virus.
“As recently as last week, on September 9, President Joe Biden said his administration would increase September shipments of monoclonal antibodies by 50%. And yet, on September 13, the HHS announced that it was taking control of the supply of monoclonal antibodies and that it would control the distribution, ”DeSantis told reporters at a news conference in Broward County. Thursday.
Biden’s plan to tackle COVID-19, dubbed the ‘pandemic escape route’, in part promises to ‘increase the average weekly rate of free monoclonal antibody treatment shipments to states’ by an additional 50% in September.
The Biden administration said it is shipping around 100,000 doses of treatment per week in July and August. Weekly distribution figures released by the HHS on Monday show that the federal government distributed 176,460 treatments to the states this week.
But DeSantis told reporters Thursday that the White House’s plan to assume a distributor role for monoclonal antibody treatments would result in fewer treatments in the state.
“We are facing a massive and massive reduction in monoclonal antibody treatments in an abrupt manner. Right after the president said they would have a 50 percent increase, we are now seeing a reduction of over 50 percent for the state of Florida. So we’re going to fight like hell to make sure our people get what they need, ”DeSantis said.
The governor said the battle to continue receiving treatment could include purchasing directly from the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, which currently has monoclonal antibody treatment approved for emergency use by Food and United States Drug Administration. DeSantis held a call with GlaxoSmithKline executives on Wednesday.
“They (GlaxoSmithKline) don’t have a direct purchase contract with the federal government. The federal government bought all of the Regeneron, ”DeSantis said. “We are unable to purchase (Regeneron) directly, given this.”
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Thursday that the federal government’s distribution plan for monoclonal antibodies was aimed at achieving “fairness” among states that receive them.
“Only seven states represent 70% of orders. Our offer is not unlimited and we believe it should be fair between states, ”Psaki said at a press briefing. “I think our role as the government overseeing the whole country is to be fair in how we distribute. We’re not going to give Florida a bigger percentage than Oklahoma.
Biden said Thursday his administration was “facing a lot of setbacks,” particularly from Republican governors – including DeSantis – who have waived mandates such as vaccination requirements for some private and government employees.
“The governors of Florida and Texas are doing all they can to undermine the vital demands that I have proposed,” he told reporters.
DeSantis pledges to ‘fight like hell’ over COVID-19 treatment Source link DeSantis pledges to ‘fight like hell’ over COVID-19 treatment