CEDARVILLE — Cedar Care Village Pharmacy has been authorized by the Ohio Department of Health to administer monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19. It is believed to be the first community pharmacy in Ohio to administer the antibody treatment.
Cedar Care, the teaching pharmacy for Cedarville University’s School of Pharmacy, has already begun to administer the antibodies by appointment. It’s downtown Cedarville location is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The pharmacy serves residents throughout northeastern Greene County.
Monoclonal antibodies can be injected into at-risk patients to help them fight off COVID-19. According to Justin Coby, director at Cedar Care, monoclonal antibodies are created when scientists isolate and clone COVID-19 antibodies from people who have recovered from the disease. Cedar Care is focused on administering the antibodies to patients age 65 or older, to those who are immunocompromised, and those who have already tested positive for COVID-19. These individuals can make an appointment for treatment within 10 days of symptoms starting.
Cedar Care will administer the monoclonal antibodies as an injection, and patients will be asked to stay an hour after receiving the injection for monitoring by Cedar Care pharmacists for reactions. For the whole process, patients should allow about 90 minutes, Coby suggested. Patients with Medicare will have the costs of the injection covered.
Coby believes that the treatment will reduce the amount of people who need to be hospitalized with COVID-19.
“We’re interested in helping our community because those individuals may not mount enough antibodies to fight off an infection, especially if they have not been vaccinated,” Coby said.
It will also reduce health care costs, since treating patients with the antibodies in an outpatient environment is less expensive than caring for patients in emergency rooms.
Cedar Care received 24 initial rounds of the Regeneron REGEN-COV monoclonal antibodies, which are being distributed by the Ohio Department of Health, and may receive more if the pharmacy has high demand.
“If anyone has just been diagnosed with COVID and is concerned, they can reach out to us here at Cedar Care,” Coby said. “We can have a conversation about the opportunity to receive the monoclonal antibodies.”