New COVID-19 Therapy Med Now Available in Minnesota

Bamlanivimab, a new type of therapy drug that has been shown to decrease the need for hospitalizations and emergency department visits in COVID-19 patients, is now available in Minnesota.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has secured a limited supply of this antibody treatment and is expected to continue weekly shipments to health care facilities at least through the end of 2020.

Bamlanivimab is an investigational monoclonal antibody therapy for use only in people who are at high risk for severe disease, but who are not currently hospitalized with COVID-19 and do not require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19. It received Emergency Use Authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Nov. 9. The treatment is time sensitive and must be given as soon as possible after a positive result and within 10 days of developing symptoms.

Minnesota is expected to receive 2,400 doses in the initial shipment. HHS plans to distribute 300,000 doses nationally by the end of the year. Due to limited supplies, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and its medical and public health partners have worked with medical ethicists around the state to develop a framework for health care providers to make decisions about who should get the treatment. Only children and adults who are at high risk for severe disease will be eligible, and those conditions are listed in the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (PDF), which is posted on the MDH website.

More information, including a list of frequently asked questions about Bamlanivimab in Minnesota, can be found on the MDH Therapeutic Options for COVID-19 Patients webpage. Additional information, including provider fact sheets, can be found on the Eli Lilly Bamlanivimab for COVID-19 webpage.