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MU Health Care to offer new outpatient treatments for COVID-19

Nathan Lawrence

MU Health Care is offering a limited supply of four outpatient medications for COVID-19 patients, according to a news release.

COVID-19-positive patients are eligible for two oral medications, Paxlovid and molnupiravir, and two IV infusion treatments, sotrovimab and remdesivir.

These treatments have been authorized by the FDA for emergency use only. Paxlovid and molnupiravir have to be taken within five days of symptom onset, remdesivir has to be taken within seven days and sotrovimab within 10 days.

Patients eligible for treatment at MU Health Care include all immunocompromised individuals, those who are 65 years or older and are unvaccinated, and unvaccinated individuals who are younger than 65 years old but have additional health risks. Those who believe they meet the requirements should contact their primary care provider.

“There’s limited supply throughout not only Missouri, but also within our country,” Brad Myers, MU Health Care director of pharmacy and lab services, said at a press conference. “We work closely with the state, and we have received some of the oral therapies that we are going to be distributing from one of our Mizzou pharmacies.”

The inventory status of each of the four drugs can be found on the MU Health Care website.

MU Health Care physician Margaret Day spoke on the reasoning behind the switch in COVID-19 treatments.

Previous medications in use were “probably not very effective” against the omicron variant, Day said. COVID-19 patients who are prescribed a treatment of sotrovimab or remdesivir will go to a center at 404 N. Keene St. to receive medications intravenously.

“We’re adjusting our processes a little bit as well to an infusion center model,” Day said.

Patients should not go to the emergency room for this treatment.

All four treatments require a prescription from a physician. The two oral medications, Paxlovid and molnupiravir, can be picked up at the Mizzou Pharmacy on South Providence.

“As a primary care physician, of course, we want nothing but the ability to help our patients,” Day said. “But the supply-demand mismatch with these oral and injectable therapies is just a reality right now, unfortunately. We’re doing our best to prioritize those who are at the highest of high risk here.”

The Columbia Missourian is a community news organization managed by professional editors and staffed by Missouri School of Journalism students who do the reporting, design, copy editing, information graphics, photography and multimedia.