Mercy To Offer New Outpatient Treatment For COVID-19

Thursday, August 12th 2021, 5:20 pm

Mercy announced it has added a new outpatient treatment to fight COVID-19. It's called Regen-COV.

It isn't the newest monoclonal antibody to hit the market, but it has been proven to have good outcomes against the Delta variant.

The "COVID Cocktail" as it is commonly called combines two antibodies to help a patient's immune system fight the infection.

"For patients who may be at risk or have not been vaccinated or if their immune system hasn't responded properly to the vaccine, then this could be given," said Eric Flaming, an antimicrobial stewardship pharmacist at Mercy Hospital.

Flaming said the treatment is authorized under an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA, but has gone through rigorous studies to prove it's effective.

"The evidence shows it decreases the risk of patients progressing to severe disease or death by 70%," said Fleming.

Previously, Mercy had used a different monoclonal antibody cocktail, which is no longer being used due to it not working against some of the variants like the Delta.

"After that point, we started working towards being able to give the Regen-COV, which is still active against the circulating virus," said Flaming.

The treatment works best if given early on, but not everyone is eligible for it.

Patients must be referred by their primary care physician after a positive test. they also must meet one qualifier out of a list of criteria.

  1. Have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 35
  2. Have chronic kidney disease
  3. Have diabetes
  4. Have immunosuppressive disease
  5. Are currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment
  6. Are older than 65
  7. Are older than 55 and have:
  8. cardiovascular disease, or
  9. hypertension, or
  10. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/other chronic respiratory disease.
  11. Are 12-17 years year old and have:
  12. BMI greater than the 85th percentile for their age and gender based on CDC growth charts
  13. sickle cell disease, or
  14. congenital or acquired heart disease, or
  15. neurodevelopmental disorders, for example, cerebral palsy, or
  16. a medical-related technological dependence, for example, tracheostomy, gastrostomy, or positive pressure ventilation (not related to COVID-19), or
  17. asthma, reactive airway or other chronic respiratory disease that requires daily medication for control

"Every different option we can come up with to prevent patients from progressing to severe disease or death is crucial," said Flaming.

If you think you're a candidate for the treatment, Mercy encourages you to reach out to your physician to see if you're eligible and request a referral.