New treatment option for COVID-positive patients coming to Asante
The FDA recently approved the emergency use of experimental agents for the treatment of COVID-19: bamlanivimab made by Eli Lilly and casirivimab and imdevimab made by Regeneron.
To offer our patients and community this potentially life-saving care, Asante is establishing a treatment location at Asante Ashland Community Hospital. The new service should be operational at Asante Ashland before the end of December.
Asante is following recommendations from the FDA to develop this infusion services department to provide the highest quality care and meet the highest safety standards possible.
The agents currently provide an experimental treatment option for patients with COVID-19 who meet certain medical criteria as determined by the FDA and are appropriate for about 12% of people with a new diagnosis of COVID-19.
The drugs are administered via intravenous infusion. Potential benefits of the treatment for high-risk patients would be lessening disease severity and reducing the need for hospitalization.
The State of Oregon will receive limited doses of the medications and disperse them statewide based on priority considerations. Treatment can be considered for any person in our nine-county service area who has received a provider referral.
Kristi Blackhurst, vice president of Operations for Asante Ashland and Asante Rogue Regional, will oversee the program. Steve Archer, manager of Infusion Therapy at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, will oversee the department’s daily operations, with direct-line reporting to Maggie Schultz, director of Asante Cancer Services.
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