(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congresswoman Glenn Grothman (WI-06) highlighted his support for life-saving monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatments for COVID-19 and called on the Biden Administration to increase the supply distributed to Wisconsin. Congressman Grothman has been in contact with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, who reinforced the state’s need for more treatments, especially given that only one of three mAb treatments, Sotrovimab, is effective against the omicron variant.
Last September, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified states that the federal government would be taking over control of distribution access to mAb treatments. Since then, Wisconsin and other states have experienced significant shortages in access to mAb treatment for COVID-19 patients, despite President Biden’s promise to ramp up distribution.
Congressman Grothman spoke on the House floor pressing the Biden Administration on why more mAb treatments are not more readily-available in Wisconsin and across the United States.
“Monoclonal antibodies are an extremely effective tool in the fight against COVID,” said Congressman Grothman. “Not only have monoclonal antibodies alleviated the strain on many of our hospitals, but there is no doubt that countless lives have been saved as a result of these treatments being made widely available.
“It’s frankly embarrassing that 16 months after President Trump beat COVID with help from monoclonal antibodies, this treatment remains so scarcely available to the public. I have personally spoken to people in my district who were experiencing symptoms after testing positive for COVID, and bounced back within 24 hours after receiving monoclonal antibody treatment.
“I have heard from patient clinics and even a large healthcare group in Wisconsin about shortages since the federal takeover of monoclonal antibodies in September. The Biden Administration is failing America by not providing enough monoclonal antibodies to patients who need them. I’m committed to working tirelessly with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and my congressional colleagues to ensure treatments readily available for those who need them.”
Congressman Grothman is a cosponsor of the Treatment Restoration for Emergency Antibody Therapeutics (TREAT) Act. This legislation would overturn President Biden’s HHS policy that restricts hospitals and other health facilities from ordering monoclonal antibody treatments to treat COVID-19 symptoms directly from manufacturers to meet local demand.
Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that stimulate the immune system and make it more effective in fighting off a COVID-19 infection. The goal of this therapy is to help prevent hospitalizations, reduce viral loads, and lessen symptom severity. Monoclonal antibody treatments are given through an IV infusion.
Read the full bill text of the TREAT Act here.