Biden FDA orders preferences based on 'race or ethnicity' in allotting scarce monoclonal antibodies

"Racial and ethnic minority groups have historically not had broad opportunities for economic, physical, and emotional health," increasing COVID risk, the CDC writes.

Updated: January 10, 2022 - 2:38pm

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The Biden administration has issued guidance instructing doctors to give preference in rationing out scarce monoclonal antibodies to "high risk" individuals based on "race or ethnicity," among other factors

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidance on the emergency use authorization (EUA) of the drug Sotrovimab, a monoclonal antibody treatment for "mild-to-moderate" COVID cases, in a fact sheet for healthcare providers. 

The guidance, most recently updated in December, tells medical professionals that the drug should only be administered to COVID-positive patients who are considered to be "high risk for progression to severe COVID-19."

The FDA lists various "higher risk" conditions such as pregnancy, age and cardiovascular disease before stating: "Other medical conditions or factors (for example, race or ethnicity) may also place individual patients at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19."

The sheet directs healthcare providers to check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website for further guidance on "high risk conditions." 

"Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black adults have a higher prevalence of obesity and are more likely to suffer worse outcomes from COVID-19," states the CDC.

"Racial and ethnic minority groups have historically not had broad opportunities for economic, physical, and emotional health, and these inequities have increased the risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19 for some groups," the CDC writes. "Many of these same factors are contributing to the higher level of obesity in some racial and ethnic minority groups."

This is not the first time race has been used when considering who to treat for COVID-19. The New York Department of Health issued guidance last month calling race a risk factor and prioritizing nonwhites for COVID treatment, Just the News reported.