LTC docs urge peers to rapidly increase use of COVID-19 antibody drugs

November 3, 2021

It’s time to take action to support rapid implementation of COVID-19 monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment in post-acute and long-term care facilities, a group of industry geriatricians contend. 

They’ve compiled a table of information-rich resources for peers who have not yet come on board.

While some long-term care clinicians are scrambling to access the suddenly scarce drugs, others need to quickly add them to the treatment toolbox to protect vulnerable residents, according to the doctors, from a spectrum of eldercare services across Colorado.

“Of great concern is that effective immunity to COVID-19 by mRNA vaccination among nursing home residents has declined significantly since emergence of the delta variant,”  wrote Leslie Beth Eber, M.D., of Rocky Mountain Senior Care, Golden, CO, and colleagues in a letter to the editor published in JAMDA on Monday, Nov. 1.

Many clinicians remain unfamiliar with mAbs

Despite the proven usefulness of mAbs in protecting residents from poor COVID-19 outcomes and the potential they offer for preventing risky hospital transfers, many LTC clinicians remain unfamiliar with mAbs clinical protocols or unprepared to place orders, they reported.

What’s more, a recent switch to state and territory-controlled mAbs distribution has increased barriers to access just when the drugs may be needed most, they added. 

“MAb awareness, access, and administration remain significant challenges in post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) facilities. We provide tools and strategies to address these challenges,” they said.

Their published table of peer resources includes links to the following, among other information:

The Food and Drug Administration’s treatment authorizations for intravenous or subcutaneous delivery methods

Nursing staff protocols to help identify appropriate candidates for mAb therapy 

Treatment protocols tailored to PALTC settings, in coordination with long-term care pharmacies

Public health guidance

PALTC provider education

Toolkits for intravenous or subcutaneous delivery routes

Monitoring algorithms for tracking adverse effects