Monoclonal antibodies are an effective tool against COVID-19, but we need more.

·3 min read

For quite a while now, I’ve publicly praised the benefits of intravenous monoclonal antibodies and urged Kentuckians and Americans to be aware of this remarkable and effective treatment.

Monoclonal antibodies are one of the most promising treatments for the virus once the person has been infected.

But like so many issues today, this treatment for COVID-19 has fallen subject to partisan political games. While Dr. Fauci and his friends at the CDC have rarely mentioned this treatment, that hasn’t stopped me from speaking out about it – both in media interviews and while traveling across Kentucky.

You deserve to have this critical information.

Recent data showed that monoclonal antibody treatment cuts the risk of death and hospitalization by 70% in high-risk patients and reduces the chance of infection among a household by 80%.

Monoclonal antibodies have only just begun to be mentioned by the mainstream media, and misinformation still plagues government bureaucrats when discussing this scientifically-backed treatment.

Doctors have also been hindered in providing this treatment. Last week I spoke with a Kentucky hospitalist who said their employer forbids monoclonal antibodies for inpatient use – meaning only patients who aren’t yet sick enough to be admitted to the hospital are the only ones eligible to receive monoclonal antibodies.

In fact, just this week two friends were hospitalized and denied IV monoclonal antibody treatment. These arbitrary rules should immediately be repealed, allowing doctors discretion in treating patients before they require a ventilator.

But why are patients being denied treatment? Well, the FDA only approved monoclonal antibodies for outpatient use. In an attempt to control every aspect of our life, the government has bought and paid for all the monoclonal antibodies and has dictated only outpatient treatment.

Last week, I also spoke with an internist in Louisiana who expressed the same limitations. He said that while monoclonal antibodies are proving to be very useful in preventing hospitalizations when given early, sometimes a patient shows up in distress to be admitted to the hospital before receiving the treatment. In this instance, because of regulations, the hospital would be unable to provide the patient wishing to seek early treatment with a potentially life-saving option.

Instead, the patient would need to be discharged and seek outpatient care, wasting time and money and taking the risk of getting sicker. Seems counterproductive, like most government-run operations.

Even if the patient is willing to pay for the monoclonal antibody treatment, he wouldn’t be able to acquire it because our government owns it all. It should scare every American, as this shows a glimpse at what socialized medicine would look like. Even if you can afford a life-saving drug, the government gets to dictate who receives it.

Government’s one-size-fits-all approach medicine is preventing physicians from prescribing life-saving drugs like monoclonal antibodies. Thankfully some smaller hospitals with local autonomy can use off-label monoclonal antibodies and I still encourage you to ask your doctor about this treatment.

It is another effective tool in the fight against COVID and could help save countless lives.

Rand Paul is a senator from Kentucky.

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