Mosaic Life Care is adopting different COVID-19 treatments because the antibody infusion drug Regeneron has been shown to be ineffective against the omicron variant.
Dr. Edward Kammerer, Mosaic’s new chief medical officer, said the hospital was fortunate to have a transition period before omicron became the variant that accounted for 100% of cases. The hospital now uses Remdesivir infusions.
“It’s just as effective as monoclonal antibodies,” Kammerer said. “There are two problems with Remdesivir. One is that it’s a three day intravenous drip…and the second part is that the public has gotten used to the fact that all of these things were under EU (emergency use) and that they were provided by the state, which was free for them.”
Currently, Remdesivir is not free. Kammerer said Mosaic also has a few oral medications that work well and are state-supplied under emergency use approval.
Antibody independent outpatient clinics cannot perform these transfusions because they cannot obtain the new infusion treatments and the old infusions no longer work against the omicron variant.
“A lot of independent clinics no longer have monoclonal antibodies because sutimlimab (omicron infusion) is in short supply,” Kammerer said.
There were 72 COVID-19 patients at the Mosaic Life Care hospital in St. Joseph on Friday.
Kammerer said Mosaic staffers are monitoring the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and potential variants, as the virus is still evolving rapidly. As borders are not closed, COVID can travel quickly.
“Being in a global society, we now pay attention to what’s happening in the world,” Kammerer said.
Kammerer said Mosaic has a strategy and is educating providers on what drugs to use and when.
“We have four of these drugs that are in short supply and are being used at different rates by the state. If these were all available, the algorithm becomes much easier,” Kammerer said.