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Tuberville tries to block federal reallocation plan of monoclonal antibody treatments

With Alabama feeling the pinch brought on by the federal government’s decision to reallocate...
With Alabama feeling the pinch brought on by the federal government’s decision to reallocate monoclonal antibody treatment to states, several U.S. senators are moving to reverse the decision.(WBRC)
Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 5:09 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - With Alabama feeling the pinch brought on by the federal government’s decision to reallocate monoclonal antibody treatment to states, several U.S. senators are moving to reverse the decision.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., and other senators have introduced a bill that would reverse the decision by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department that limits monoclonal antibody treatment for those suffering from COVID-19.

Tuberville was joined a number of other Republic senators from Florida, Kansas, North Dakota, Indiana and Tennessee in introducing what they call the Treatment Restoration for Emergency Antibody Therapeutics, or the TREAT Act.

The legislation would prohibit HHS from putting policies in place that restrict hospitals and other healthcare facilities from getting monoclonal antibody treatment from manufacturers and distribution, according to Tuberville’s office.

Despite there being no shortage of the treatment product, HHS decided to change the way states get the shipments, basing it on a criteria of cases and hospitalizations. That has lead to shortages in some states, like Alabama where providers recently requested 19,000 doses but only got about 7,000. 

The bill would nullify the Biden Administration’s policy that requires hospitals and facilities to work through state health departments to order supplies.

Earlier this month, Tuberville sent a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra about the recent decision by the federal government to limit monoclonal antibody shipments to Alabama.

Monoclonal antibody treatment helps the body build rapid immunity to COVID-19, health officials say, preventing hospitalizations in about 70% of those who are treated.

Even though the treatment can help prevent hospitalizations, doctors say the best way to avoid COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.

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