When the FDA approved a first-of-its-kind RSV drug last summer, many physicians called it a potential gamechanger for infants. The new medication, sold under the brand name Beyfortus, is a non-vaccine injection that protects babies against severe illness from the virus. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the number one causes of hospitalization among children under 12 months. About 58,000-80,000 babies are admitted to the hospital each year with RSV. Yet, many parents discovered they could not access the drug this Fall due to supply shortages. Pharmaceutical companies Sanofi and AstraZeneca significantly underestimated demand for the preventative medication. Additionally, insurers would not commit to reimbursing medical providers for the drug, causing many smaller practices to delay ordering it.
To date, more than 77,000 doses have been given, far below the number of parents who sought the shot for their child. The drugmakers announced this week that they will distribute 230,000 additional doses in mid-January, helping to alleviate the supply shortfall.
Full Story: Reuters