The Food and Drug Administration is urging health care providers to consider race or ethnicity as well as underlying medical conditions when classifying individuals as “high risk for progression to severe COVID-19″ and qualifying for antibody treatment.
A fact sheet issued by the agency detailing the emergency use authorization of the drug sotrovimab for treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 cases includes a list of medical conditions that may qualify patients for the treatment.
Those conditions include advanced age (65 or older), obesity, pregnancy, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, and neurodevelopmental disorders.
The document, which was last updated in December, also notes that “[o]ther medical conditions or factors (for example, race or ethnicity) may also place individual patients at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19.”
As the treatment is specified as being for mild to moderate cases, it is not authorized for patients who are hospitalized because of COVID-19, require oxygen therapy due to the virus, or require an increase in oxygen flow.
Similar advisories have been administered in states like New York and Utah.
A recent notice from the New York state Department of Health detailing the criteria for individuals to receive oral antiviral treatment stipulated that “non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity should be considered a risk factor” due to systemic health and social inequities which have “contributed to an increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.”