Monoclonal antibodies are an effective tool against COVID-19, but we need more.
For some time now, I have 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 problems today, this treatment of COVID-19 has become the subject of party political games. While Dr. Fauci and his friends at the CDC rarely mentioned this treatment, that didn't stop me from discussing it - both in media interviews and while traveling around Kentucky.
You deserve to have this important information.
Recent data showed that treatment with monoclonal antibodies reduced the risk of death and hospitalization in high-risk patients by 70% and the risk of infection in a household by 80%.
Monoclonal antibodies are only just getting mentioned in the mainstream media, and misinformation still plagues government bureaucrats when discussing this science-based treatment.
Doctors were also prevented from offering this treatment. Last week I spoke to a Kentucky hospital doctor who said his employer bans monoclonal antibodies for inpatient use - that is, only patients who are not sick enough to be hospitalized are the only ones who get monoclonal Antibodies can receive.
In fact, two friends were hospitalized just this week who were denied IV monoclonal antibody treatment. These arbitrary rules should be lifted immediately to give clinicians discretion in treating patients before they need a ventilator.
But why are patients denied treatment? Well, the FDA has approved monoclonal antibodies for ambulatory use only. In an attempt to control every aspect of our lives, the government has bought and paid for all monoclonal antibodies and only dictated outpatient treatment.
I also spoke to an internist in Louisiana last week who expressed the same restrictions. He said that while monoclonal antibodies are very useful in preventing hospital admissions when given early, sometimes a patient in distress shows up to be hospitalized before receiving treatment. In this case, regulation would prevent the hospital from offering a potentially life-saving option to the patient seeking early treatment.
Instead, the patient would have to be discharged and treated on an outpatient basis, wasting time and money and taking the risk of getting sick. Seems counterproductive, like most government-run operations.
Even if the patient were willing to pay for monoclonal antibody treatment, they would not be able to acquire it because it is all owned by our government. It should scare any American as it gives a glimpse of what socialized medicine would look like. Even if you can afford a life-saving drug, the state can determine who gets it.
The government's unified approach to medicine prevents doctors from prescribing life-saving drugs such as monoclonal antibodies. Fortunately, some smaller hospitals with local autonomy may use off-label monoclonal antibodies, and I still recommend consulting your doctor about this treatment.
It's another powerful tool in the fight against COVID and could help save countless lives.
Rand Paul is a Senator from Kentucky.
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