February 4, 2021

Lilly Partners With State, Health Systems To Create COVID-19 Treatment Sites

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
The COVID Infusion Center in Mishawaka, Indiana, is one of three locations Eli Lilly has partnered with the state and health systems to establish focusing on providing COVID-19 antibody therapies.  - Justin Hicks/IPB News

The COVID Infusion Center in Mishawaka, Indiana, is one of three locations Eli Lilly has partnered with the state and health systems to establish focusing on providing COVID-19 antibody therapies.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly is partnering with health care systems around the state to increase access and affordability around its COVID-19 antibody treatment. The company is working with the state of Indiana and health systems and has established three new infusion centers for its COVID-19 antibody therapy to treat those at high risk.

Lilly’s antibody therapy showed promise among some high-risk patients in reducing hospitalizations and deaths.But the treatment hasn’t been utilized as much as the company hoped.

Janelle Sabo is the global development leader for COVID-19 therapeutics at Lilly. She said the specific locations should help more people access the treatment.

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“A lot of the health systems were not necessarily set up to bring all these COVID-19 positive patients back in,” said Sabo. “So, it took a while to be able to set up facilities and doctors' offices, etc. to take COVID-19 patients in and be able to do the administration.”

The north, central, and southern Indiana each have a site that will focus on providing the drug.

The infusion takes about one hour and each location is expected to treat from 20 to 40 Hoosiers a day. 

The drug is already free across the U.S. after doses were purchased by the federal government. However, medical providers could charge patients for the administration of the treatment and cost hundreds of dollars. Patients will not be charged an administrative fee at the new sites established by Lilly, in partnership with the state and health systems.

Sabo said the three locations selected will help make the treatment more accessible. 

“I think at Lilly what we've learned over the last several months is that there is a way to do research and create accessibility to innovation where patients are and not have to go to major academic centers or to be in major urban areas to do that,” she said.

More than 1,700 people have been treated at the three infusion locations so far.

Contact reporter Samantha at shorton@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @SamHorton5.

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