The CEO of Tampa General Hospital has gone on the offensive, criticizing the President Joe Biden administration’s decision to ration monoclonal antibody treatments to states like Florida. The Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) announced it will be handling the nationwide distribution of the treatments, earning much criticism from Florida officials who have been implementing the treatment for months.
“I don’t know why they did it, because the supply chain was working perfectly the way it was,” said John Couris, CEO of Tampa General Hospital. “This change is going to hurt people in Florida.”
Couris also noted they will likely have to limit the hours of operation for the monoclonal treatment sites given the federal government’s decree.
“It’s already starting to make us, for example, think about how we are going to have to limit the hours of operation associated with our ability to provide this life saving therapy and it’s plain wrong,” Couris said. “And my hope is we can do something about it.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responded similarly to the Biden administration’s decision, floating the idea of going around the federal government and directly to the treatment manufacturer.
“We’re facing a massive, massive cut in monoclonal antibody treatments abruptly,” DeSantis said last week. “Just after the president said they would have a 50 percent increase, we’re now seeing more than a 50 percent cut for the state of Florida. So we’re going to fight like hell to make sure that our folks get what they need.”
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried also implored the Biden administration to reconsider, saying treatments like the monoclonal antibodies have helped many Floridians and can be a life-saving treatment.
Earlier this year, Couris served on a roundtable with DeSantis and touted the efficacy of the monoclonal treatments.
“It’s very effective,” Couris said in August. “Anecdotally, almost 100% of our patients have told us that 24 to 48 hours (after treatment) they feel much better and symptoms start to subside.”
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