This is bad.
This article by Hannah Recht tells us that the government is reducing distribution of Evusheld, the monoclonal antibody combination that can protect the immunocompromised including those with CLL/SLL from COVID-19. As things currently stand, the supply will run out completely before year’s end. The funding isn’t there.
Add to the decreased supply the haphazard distribution and we have an entirely preventable tragedy unfolding.
CLL Society is working to right the ship, but in the meantime, if you are considering getting Evusheld, it makes sense to not delay. Not that you need to panic. There are many thousands of doses out there now and more coming, albeit at a slower rate. But the supply will likely shrink over the next several months.
That said, if we have learned anything during the pandemic, we have learned that COVID-19 should make us humble when making any prediction.
Use CLL Society’s COVID-19 Action Plan checklists and scroll down to page two to find the link that will help you find where you might find a dose of Evusheld near you. Or maybe not so nearby.
Here’s some potentially helpful hacks.
- Any healthcare provider including your primary care provider can write a prescription for Evusheld. It does not have to be your hematologist, although some institutions have committees that determine distribution.
- Often smaller community and rural hospitals have unused doses, as demand and awareness is sometimes less outside the big academic healthcare centers. Before driving for hours, call ahead to the pharmacy and ask about their supply and policy. Find out what you need to do. Can you see a healthcare provider on staff who can prescribe it and arrange for the shots in one visit? Will they accept an order from your physician if they are not part of their system?
- For those who can afford it, there are several concierge services that will come to your house or you can visit their clinic to receive the Evusheld. They may be listed on the locator link, or even just Google Concierge and Evusheld. In Koffman Quoted in LA Times: This Treatment Can Protect Vulnerable People From COVID-19. But Many Don’t Know About It, the linked LA Times article references one such service. Evusheld is provided free, however the consultation and administration are billable. Expect to pay a high price for the easy access.
Again, if you are considering Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) with Evusheld, and everyone with chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma should be, start planning how to get your protection. It usually can be found with some level of effort. Keep pushing and advocating for yourself and don’t give up until you find a dose!
Stay strong. We are all in this together.
Brian Koffman MDCM (retired) MS Ed
Co-Founder, Executive VP and Chief Medical Officer