FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Jan. 26, 2022
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) recognizes that while vaccinations remain the best way for individuals to protect themselves against COVID-19, those who do contract the virus need the best treatment options available, especially outpatient ones that can help reduce the strain on our state’s healthcare systems from the omicron surge.
DHEC began providing weekly updates on COVID-19 therapeutics to the state’s medical providers on Jan. 14, 2022, through a partnership with the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) and the South Carolina Medical Association (SCMA).
Updates are sent to those associations every Monday for distribution to their members and include the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) Statement on Patient Prioritization for Outpatient Therapies, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’) therapeutics locator for providers (the included therapies require a prescription by a licensed and authorized provider; patients should not contact locations directly) and a form that providers who want to offer one or more therapeutics can complete. DHEC reviews those forms and provides guidance to providers about how to register for the proper federal sites required for daily and weekly reporting.
“Besides getting vaccinated and boosted, outpatient therapeutic options offer us the next-best way to reduce the enormous strain that the most recent COVID-19 surge has put on our state’s hospital system and medical professionals,” said Louis Eubank, director of DHEC’s COVID-19 Coordination Office.
SCMA president John C. Ropp III, MD, said information-sharing about available treatments and their success against COVID-19 is vital during a pandemic to keep health care workers informed.
“DHEC has consistently worked with partners to keep those at the front-line fighting COVID-19 informed. Providing physicians weekly updates with the most recent information on outpatient therapeutics is critical so that physicians know the best available therapies for patient care.” Ropp said.
SCHA System Chief Melanie Matney agreed that partnerships such as this one are the best way to serve the citizens of South Carolina.
“We are grateful to have reached a point in this pandemic where new treatments and therapeutics are available to help reduce the severity of COVID-19 and the surge on our hospitals,” Matney said. “As the guidance on these treatments continues to evolve, SCHA is working closely with DHEC and the state’s healthcare community to ensure our hospitals and health systems have all the resources they need to support the people of South Carolina through each surge of this COVID-19 pandemic.”
Guidance is specifically offered about the following available outpatient therapeutic treatment options in South Carolina:
• Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) data on whether certain treatments are effective or not against Omicron and where the effective treatments are available for their patients, including Sotrovimab and Evusheld.
• Oral Anti-viral Drugs, including where to find Molnupiravir and Paxlovid, which are currently available in extremely limited quantities via select sites in the state. These products require a prescription from a medical provider. As more products become available more sites will be added.
• Anti-viral Drugs such as Veklurytm (remdesivir), which is ordered commercially from the manufacturer, AmerisourceBergen.