Valley hospital networks pausing monoclonal antibody treatments

Posted at 4:30 PM, Dec 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-30 07:10:45-05

PHOENIX — Valleywise Health announced Wednesday that they are halting the use of monoclonal antibody treatments in their emergency department.

Valleywise Health, along with Banner Health and other networks, revealed that they are pausing monoclonal antibody treatments because of how ineffective it is against the omicron variant.

Antibody drugs from Regeneron and Eli Lilly have been the go-to drugs to keep patients out of the hospital. But the drugmakers have warned that their infused medications are far less potent against the latest variant.

Dr. Michael White with Valleywise Health said in a press conference that they are awaiting shipments of a newly approved therapy called Sotrovimab.

State health officials with the Arizona Department of Health Services tell ABC15 that only 50,000 courses of Sotrovimab have been allocated across the nation for the week of December 27 and it’s unclear how much will be coming to Arizona for providers the week of January 3.

Along with the pause of monoclonal antibody therapies at this time, Valleywise Health is awaiting guidance from the federal government on FEMA arriving to help set up an infusion center for the treatments.

“We are waiting for communication from that group with regards if they are going to be able to pivot and be able to use Sotrovimab therapy as opposed to the Regeneron as they were planning,” said Dr. White.