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Beshear: Antibody Treatment Demand Already Poised To Exceed Federal Allotments

AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

Kentucky may already be using monoclonal antibody treatments at a faster clip than new federal government limits will allow. 

Last week, the state administered over 5,000 antibody treatments for COVID-19, but a nationwide shortage means the federal government will soon begin conserving the treatments – with an estimated 4,500 coming to the commonwealth every week.

If Kentucky's trends continue, Gov. Andy Beshear says that may result in some agonizing choices for healthcare providers facing increasing demand.

"What that means is that doctors are going to have to use other things that haven't proven to be as good as this treatment," the governor acknowledged. "They are going to have to be rationing care. They are going to have to look at individuals and make the tough decisions about who gets the best medication and who doesn't. Thats a horrendous position to be in."

Under the new system, providers will no longer order the supplies directly. Instead the state will supervise the distribution of finite allocations of the treatments.

Monoclonal antibodies are designed to give newly-diagnosed patients an immune boost and a chance to avoid more serious illness.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.