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Some US Covid Drugs Are In Danger of Running Out This Summer, Official Warns

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 5/17/2022 Madison Muller
A box of Evusheld at the AstraZeneca facility for biological medicines in Södertälje, Sweden. © Photographer: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images A box of Evusheld at the AstraZeneca facility for biological medicines in Södertälje, Sweden.

(Bloomberg) -- Supplies of key Covid-19 therapies are in danger of running out as soon as this summer, a senior health official said, as the Biden administration seeks more funds to fight the pandemic.

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Stocks of Eli Lilly & Co.’s monoclonal Covid antibody, bebtelovimab, are expected to be exhausted by July, the official said on a call, and newer omicron variants have already rendered other monoclonal treatments ineffective. Supplies of AstraZeneca Plc’s Evusheld antibody treatment could run dry by the fall, according to the official, who requested not to be identified as a condition of participation in the briefing.

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The US government is preparing to extend the public health emergency that allows the authorization and use of vaccines and drugs like Pfizer Inc.’s antiviral Paxlovid during the pandemic. The administration has been wrangling with Congress to approve funds to obtain additional medical supplies and support programs to fight the coronavirus. 

Stockpiles of Paxlovid will last through fall, but the government will need to purchase additional courses to continue providing the drug beyond that, the official said. Though supply of the antiviral has increased in recent months, demand has also risen as newer omicron variants drive Covid in the US. The number of Paxlovid courses administered increased 315% between April 10 and May 14, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response said Tuesday in a statement. 

While a few treatments remain viable, new variants could make any of them unusable, an official said on the call. The agency has provided more than 11 million doses of therapeutics since the fall of 2020.

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