The federal government has allocated almost 44,000 monoclonal antibody treatments and anti-viral medications to Florida.
The supplies are almost evenly divided between antiviral medications and monoclonals, the Florida Department of Health said in an email.
Department press secretary Jeremy Redfern said, “It includes monoclonals and oral treatment options. The bulk of these options being 21,060 courses of Merck’s Molnupiravir oral treatment.”
According to Merck’s website, Molnupiravir is an “antiviral medication that inhibits the replication of certain RNA viruses. It is used to treat COVID-19 in those infected by SARS-CoV-2.”
Two new treatment options that were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are in pill form that patients can take at home.
Studies have proven Pfizer’s pill Paxlovid and Merck’s Molnupiravir prevent the COVID-19 virus from reproducing. Between the two manufacturers Florida is allocated 26,300 doses.
The FDA announced the drug’s clearance for use Dec. 23 on its website.
“Authorization provides an additional treatment option against the COVID-19 virus in the form of a pill that can be taken orally,” said Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research on the agency’s website.
“Molnupiravir is limited to situations where other FDA-authorized treatments for COVID-19 are inaccessible or are not clinically appropriate and will be a useful treatment option for some patients with COVID-19 at high risk of hospitalization or death.
“As new variants of the virus continue to emerge, it is crucial to expand the country’s arsenal of COVID-19 therapies using emergency use authorization, while continuing to generate additional data on their safety and effectiveness.”
The allocations came after Florida State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo sent a letter to the U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra requesting additional treatments.
Another drug allocated to Florida to fight the virus was Evushield made by AstraZeneca.
Evushield is recommended for patients who are immunocompromised or have a history of having adverse reactions to vaccines.
It was approved for emergency use by the FDA on Dec. 8 for adults and children older than 12.
Florida was allocated 4,656 doses during the week of Jan. 10.