Although the state’s Chief Health Strategist has repeatedly said a vaccine will be the answer to ending the COVID-19 pandemic, an emergency-use authorization was recently issued by the FDA for a new medication.
Chief Health Strategist Dr. Joshua Wynne says it’s actually very similar to the antibody cocktail President Trump received when he was hospitalized with the virus back in October.
“He got it and the rest of us couldn’t, but now the rest of us can,” Dr. Wynne shared.
“This is called a monoclonal antibody.”
He says the first-of-its-kind drug will be available across the country in the near future, and in North Dakota. The experimental drug, Bamlanivimab, comes from Indianapolis pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly.
It’s meant for people with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms, in the form of a one-time treatment taken through an IV.
Dr. Wynne says it’s not meant for those hospitalized from virus complications, unlike Remdesivir and Dexamethasone. Instead, it’s meant to prevent symptoms from becoming severe, hopefully, keeping COVID-19 patients from having to go to the hospital in the first place.
“So another good development,” Dr. Wynne added.
“Not as important, quite frankly, as the vaccine information, but still something that’s available now that will help North Dakotans over the coming weeks and months.”
Dr. Wynne adds his knowledge of the drug is still fairly limited and he has not used it on a patient yet.
He says it will be available in the state soon, but he doesn’t know exactly when just yet.