Increase funding for COVID-19 treatments
I write to urge Congress to approve emergency supplemental funding for COVID-19 therapeutics – including Paxlovid and EvuSheld – that are critically important to disabled, immunocompromised, chronically ill, and older Americans. And to urge the Biden Administration and Congress to work together to ensure that Paxlovid and EvuSheld are as widely and readily available throughout the country as possible. • Paxlovid is an oral antiviral treatment against COVID-19. When Paxlovid is taken early in the course of COVID-19, it substantially cuts the risk of progression to severe disease requiring hospitalization. Paxlovid is of vital importance to the millions of immunocompromised Americans who may not be able to mount an effective immune response to vaccination or coronavirus infection. Paxlovid is also vitally important to the tens and tens of millions of Americans who have a chronic illness, condition, or disability that puts them at increased risk for hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Finally, Paxlovid is critically important to older Americans who are at increased risk of death from COVID-19. • EvuSheld is an injectable biologic that provides pre-exposure prophylaxis against COVID-19 to those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and to those for whom vaccination against COVID-19 is medically contraindicated. Congress must provide sufficient funding to procure enough EvuSheld for the millions of immunocompromised Americans who could potentially benefit from the lifesaving security and protection this medication provides. I also write to urge Congress and the Biden Administration to work together to ensure that Paxlovid and EvuSheld are widely and readily available, particularly to chronically ill, immunocompromised, disabled, and older Americans. It is critical that the Department of Health and Human Services ensure that Paxlovid is available at as many pharmacies as possible: Paxlovid should be available at every one of the ~40,000 pharmacies participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. The Department of Health and Human Services should also work directly with immunocompromised patients to increase knowledge of, and access to, EvuSheld. The current provider-only strategy HHS is seemingly pursuing is a relic of a bygone era of medical paternalism.
First sent on March 7 by Matthew