Florida purchases GlaxoSmithKline monoclonal antibody as federal reduction continues
Is Ron DeSantis the 'Teflon Governor?'

FLAPOL092121CH013
Florida is getting 3,000 of GSK's version of the drug, offsetting some of the recent reductions.

The DeSantis administration has purchased 3,000 doses of GlaxoSmithKline’s monoclonal antibody treatment after the Biden administration reduced the federal supply of Regeneron’s version of the coronavirus-fighting drug by more than half.

Speaking in Tampa on Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters the state would soon receive that shipment and could use it to offset the declining federal distributions. The news comes eight days after DeSantis met with leadership from GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical company that produces the latest monoclonal antibody therapy to receive federal approval, sotrovimab.

“We’re going to be able to use that sotrovimab to bridge some of the gaps that are going to be developing as a result of the Biden administration dramatically cutting medications to the state of Florida,” DeSantis said.

“The fact that the Biden administration is doing this, I just think is wrong,” he added. “The implications are going to be, I think, negative. It may mean less access. We may have to close sites. The hospitals may not have all that they need. There’s a whole host of things.”

The Department of Health and Human Services recently reduced Florida’s allotment of Regeneron’s REGN-COV2 doses to 27,850 and Eli Lilly’s bamlanivimab/etesevimab doses to 3,100. That combined quantity, 30,950, was about half what Florida had previously been receiving.

For next week, the total distribution is falling again to 25,692, with Florida next receiving 17,976 REGN-COV2 doses and 7,716 bamlanivimab/etesevimab doses.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden said the federal government would increase monoclonal antibody distributions by 50%. While the nationwide monoclonal antibody distribution is increasing by more than 23,000, the recent cut to Florida means more than 5,000 fewer doses in the Sunshine State.

“Cutting the medication to Florida and other states is wrong. It’s not consistent with the promise that was made just a couple of weeks ago, and we are going to continue to fight against that,” DeSantis said, adding that his administration won’t just sit “on (their) rump.”

Trials show sotrovimab reduces the risk of hospitalization or death in high-risk adults by 85%, compared to the 70% for REGN-COV2. But unlike Regeneron’s version, GSK’s can’t yet be given as a shot, making administering it slower. The same goes for Eli Lilly’s bamlanivimab/etesevimab.

The federal government under President Donald Trump purchased 1.5 million doses of Regeneron’s treatment, then their entire stockpile. Last week, the Biden administration upped the total purchase to nearly 3 million.

Because the federal government purchased the Regeneron and Eli Lilly treatments, those have been free for states and individual health care facilities to draw down. Purchasing GSK’s cocktail currently is coming out of Florida’s pocketbook.

Florida has been using a large share of the nation’s monoclonal antibody treatment consumption. But the Governor says it’s his promotion of REGN-COV2 and word-of-mouth that has driven Florida’s high usage, not the recent record COVID-19 surge.

“They say, ‘Oh, well, Florida is using a lot of it,'” DeSantis said. “Yeah, because we’re pushing it out there for people. We’re not making anyone do it. We’re telling them this is here. They know it’s here. When they’re testing positive, they’re opting to do it. They’re talking to friends, they’re talking to family, and they see the results and so they’re doing it.”

The Governor has spent nearly two months crisscrossing the state touting monoclonal antibody treatment, particularly REGN-COV2. As he has in recent stops, he highlighted success stories of people who received Regeneron’s cocktail before or after testing positive.

“Which one of these folks should have been denied this had they cut this two weeks ago?” DeSantis asked. “Who should be denied going forward?”

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


26 comments

  • Michael Paris

    September 23, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    Biden is a total criminal being told what to do by Rice and Obama surrogates. He doesn’t know what room he is in. This is a criminal act by the Biden administration. Withholding therapeutics for politics. This site is run by a criminal who writes and deletes for pay if you vote blue and give him money. Downey, you went to Northwestern! What’s next for you? The Penny Saver.

    • Alex

      September 24, 2021 at 11:28 am

      Bwahahahahaha!!

      If Republicans had gotten vaccinated, Florida wouldn’t have to spend this money, and neither would the US Treasury.

      Morons.

      • Karen williams

        September 24, 2021 at 8:42 pm

        If DeSantis pushed the vaccine this much they wouldn’t need the treatment! And what is the difference between getting the vaccine or gegting the treatment? They are both new and both being used under emergency CDC authorization. Oh thats right, he didnt buy all the stocks in the vaccine like he did the regeron treatment. Anything for a buck!!!!!

        • Tom

          September 25, 2021 at 5:53 am

          Karen Liar, you are a Manchurian fool.
          You owe this Gov an yapology. He, Gov Ron, America’s Gov held over 50 vaccine events across the state.

          Promoting vaccines and encouraging their use. He led the country in assisting seniors getting the vaccine.

          Governor Ron has been balanced and not an extremist and tyrant which is what Dems want. Not happening.

        • Shelley

          September 30, 2021 at 7:57 pm

          Actually getting covid and taking a dose of monoclonal antibodies allows you to lessen the symptoms and heal faster from covid19. You then have the natural immunity to help you fight further variants and don’t need to be injecting vaccines that are proving short lived in their effectiveness.

      • Douglas

        September 27, 2021 at 1:51 pm

        Did your parents have any children that lived?

      • Mr

        September 29, 2021 at 11:41 pm

        Why do you care if Republicans get vaccinated? Maybe because you know that it is blacks and latinos that are not getting vaxed. Or maybe you are the baffoon that watches msnbc.

  • Tom

    September 23, 2021 at 9:47 pm

    America’s Governor, Governor whiz kid!
    God Bless this Governor and his brass Kahones.

    What a great man and public servant.
    Will not be denied in providing maximum service to people of Florida. Sets up 25 centers will not be denied when feds/WH reduce supply. Keep it up.

    Awesome!

    Great job!

    • George P Burdell

      September 25, 2021 at 12:47 am

      So it’s somehow everyone else’s fault that one state is draining down the entire stockpile the federal government bought so quickly that even doubling the order can’t keep up? And that the federal government is ensuring those that don’t live in FL have access too? Especially when the fed govt is picking up the tab of ~180 MILLION per week at the rate Florida was burning through it?
      The US govt is paying for it, so yes y’all don’t have a 1st dibs over the other 49 states – we have rights to access too. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; seems like the chickens coming home to roost from poor long term planning from your governor, huh?

      Also, a sanity question from someone who has an intense dislike of needles – why in the world are people lining up to get 4 shots at once (1 in each arm and 2 in the stomach) for this stuff, instead of 1 or 2 shots in the arm a few weeks apart?

      • Tom

        September 25, 2021 at 6:01 am

        Feds paid for the Regeneron all up front, POTUS 45 bought it all in Nov of 20.

        Agreed on the extensive treatment compared to vaccine. People make choices. Some people don’t believe in vaccines. There risk.

        The WH didn’t even know or make it avail and it was this Gov’s initiative to offer the monoclonal treatment. It’s helped save lives. Governor Ron the best!

      • Jerry

        September 27, 2021 at 12:34 am

        It’s not the needles people are afraid of. It’s what’s in them.

        You have a vaccine that is less than a year old with no long-term safety data, which doesn’t provide you immunity nor stop you from spreading the virus. And these vaccines also seem to have many more side effects than other traditional vaccines. It’s the mRNA and the lack of safety data that is causing hesitancy. People simply don’t like the way these vaccines work.

        If you had a vaccine that actually made you immune, stopped you from spreading it, and is made in the traditional way similar to vaccines like Measles and Polio, then you would have less resistance. Those type of vaccines have decades of safety data behind them.

        Now as far as the antibody treatment, it’s not invasive. You are introducing lab-created proteins that function like antibodies and attack the virus directly.

        Also, there are very legit reasons why some people don’t trust the government nor the for-profit medical system. I myself don’t have a good history with doctors. I’ve been misdiagnosed twice by doctors in my life. One of those times it nearly killed me. So no, I don’t blindly follow doctor’s orders. I question everything they tell me. The scientists are not always right, especially when they rush. And this vaccine was rushed. It takes an average of 5-7 years to develop a vaccine. These COVID vaccines were done in 10 months.

  • Professor Emeritus

    September 23, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Some folks will believe the most ridiculous lies
    Florida has been using a large share of the nation’s monoclonal antibody treatment consumption. But the Governor says it’s his promotion of REGN-COV2 and word-of-mouth that has driven Florida’s high usage, not the recent record COVID-19 surge.

    ITS ONLY GIVE TO INFECTED PEOPLE so of course its driven by the surge in covid 19

    9000 dead in august shows just how stupid the anti vaxxers are

    • Tom

      September 24, 2021 at 8:50 am

      Professor toilet paper.
      You fool.
      The mono program is all America’s Governor. Biden & his inept team didn’t even know they had it.
      America’s Gov set up the 25 centers.
      His efforts are huge! Despicable to cut back. Trump bought all the Regeneron in November. Full stop you fool. Go get a real degree.

      • Captain puzzyeater

        September 30, 2021 at 6:50 am

        Lol die mad stupid

    • Alex

      September 24, 2021 at 11:30 am

      100% correct.

      Not getting vaccinated is a clear sign of stupidity.

      • Tom

        September 24, 2021 at 2:13 pm

        No one says you can’t Alex.
        Life choices matter.
        I see you ignore that the largest single block of the Democrats voting coalition has bout 60% or more, non vaccinated. You, your hypocrite Dolts,and media ignore this. Where is the ex POTUS 44, and the present VP doing bout it? Wah, wah, wah! Go scratch. I’m sure the 95% liberal, socialist media is belittling them.
        Wah!

      • Douglas

        September 27, 2021 at 1:53 pm

        Not to mention your stupid comments

        • Tom

          September 27, 2021 at 7:52 pm

          What’s stupid is you. You ass.
          You can’t deal with facts.
          Feel free to do so, you dumb ass Dem A Dolt. Manchurian tom a ton. That would take a brain not an ass.
          Oh you must be offended,
          Truth and facts hurt,
          IF U C K, tell her Y O U.

  • Juan Ruiz

    September 24, 2021 at 8:54 pm

    God bless DeSantis. He is a life saver and by far the best governor in the nation.
    Biden is evil to cut supplies when the companies that make it say there is no shortage and regeneron cuts death and hospitalization by 85%
    If anyone doubts that Democrats and globalist marxists are out to KILL people and get the COVID deaths up in Florida for political reasons, look at this situation.
    Patria y Vida

    • Tom

      September 25, 2021 at 12:01 pm

      Thanks zHombre

      America’s Governors decision to use the monoclonal therapeutic will go down as a great move. It rallied states and feds to offer alternatives.

      Gov Ron’s initiative to contact GSK and add more to supplement is his laser focus to do so.

      Great job Governor!

  • martin

    September 26, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    Gov. Desantis defines leadership!

    • Tom

      September 26, 2021 at 9:51 pm

      Absolutely martin!
      Thank you for stating that.
      The haters are serpents.
      We must protect and defend this man from the haters. They are envious and jealous. His family is young as he is the youngest Governor in country.
      The haters wish to destroy him. He offers much and is willing to fight for action. Pray for him and wife to continue to stay strong.

    • Mr Right

      September 29, 2021 at 11:43 pm

      Completely Agree! We are luck to have DeSantis in charge at this moment of history!

  • Lola Mills

    October 1, 2021 at 2:19 pm

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Comments are closed.


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