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Monoclonal antibodies should be prescribed

I am appalled that a patient with COVID-19 had to “connect” with Richard Wadas, MD and his team at UPMC for a “transformative therapy,” monocloncal antibody therapy, as he cited in his article in the Altoona Mirror on April 23.

A patient should not have to request a therapy when the therapy is indicated for an illness or injury.

Monoclonal antibody therapy was FDA approved for emergency use in most patients over 65 with or without pre-existing conditions.

It must be administered as early as possible after COVID-19 symptoms or within 10 days of symptoms or after a positive test to be effective.

In late 2020, it was available at UPMC Altoona as a potentially life-saving outpatient therapy that must be prescribed by a primary physician as any other medication or therapy.

Where was Wadas then for educating physicians and patients?

There was a local surplus of this therapy after it became available because, like in most parts of the country, physicians were not prescribing monoclonal antibodies for reasons not clear to me.

Additionally, UPMC Altoona did not offer this important COVID-19 treatment on weekends or holidays despite its potential to save lives in a narrow window of opportunity.

I find the recent UPMC hype about offering monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19 to their communities to be too little and too late for patients who may have survived COVID-19 in the past several months had they only known enough to ask their primary physicians for it.

Robyn J. Daniels

Altoona

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