FDA revoking emergency authorization for some covid pills

generic medication (Source: Storyblocks)

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – RelyCare Pharmacy in Lincoln has been trying to get COVID antibody pills on their shelves for months, the oral medication to help weaken COVID symptoms. But now, another obstacle is in the way.

As of this week, U.S. health regulators are saying the COVID pill from Regeneron and Eli Lilly should no longer be used because data shows it doesn’t work against the omicron variant. The FDA has now revoked emergency authorization for both of those pills.

RelyCare has specifically been following Pfizer’s pill, Paxlovid, which according to lab tests was effective against omicron. They hope to still get those pills in the coming weeks but say this is just going to slow the process down even more.

“We’re looking at a couple of different medications in pill form for the COVID, and I do think this will affect one of those pills, and maybe take one of them away from us. So if you take one away, that’s going to put a greater demand on the other one, which you can’t even get the other one yet so yeah, I think it will be disruptive to supplies,” Steve Osenbaugh, the owner of RelyCare said.

As COVID cases dominate in Lancaster County, RelyCare is taking many calls from people asking for the COVID pill, with no clear answer to give.

“A lot of it has been more in anticipation, people again, just like masks, they would like to have them on hand just in case, or know the supply and availability is there throughout their local pharmacy if they need it,” Osenbaugh said.

Because of a lack of these pills, people are buying up the next best option to fight their COVID symptoms or simply boost up their immune system. RelyCare says their special bundle of vitamins is flying off the shelves.

“We have a pill pack, an immune booster pack, which has like selenium in it, B6, vitamin C, D3, just to help the immune system,” Osenbaugh said.

The FDA says if the Regeneron and Eli Lilly pills prove effective against future variants, the pills could potentially be reauthorized.

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