New COVID-19 treatment offered through lottery system in Colorado

West

DENVER (KDVR) — A new IV infusion treatment is now available for COVID-19 patients through a lottery system in Colorado. The medication is called bamlanivimab, or “bam bam” for short.

“This is an antibody made by the labs,” said Dr. Lindsey Fish, Medical Director at Denver Health’s Federico F. Pena Southwest Urgent Care. 

That facility is one of at least 16 sites across the state now offering the infusion.

“This medication specifically reduces severity of illness and prevents hospitalization,” Fish said.

The medication is one dose, but the infusion appointment can take about two hours. The FDA recently granted Emergency use authorization for the treatment. It can be used for COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate illness who are not hospitalized.

However, Fish said there is a limited supply right now.

“The way it’s being offered through the state is utilizing a lottery system to ensure that there is equitable distribution to patients across the entire state,” she said.

But that should not deter coronavirus patients from asking their provider about it, especially if they are high risk. Fish said the state is getting thousands of doses, and Denver Health has hundreds ready to administer.

“The key point with this is the importance of getting seen and tested in the right window. As I mentioned, you have to get this medication within 10 days of the onset of symptoms,” she explained.

“If you’re the patient who doesn’t have to be hospitalized because you get this medication and you improve faster, what a success for you!”

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