NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As President Donald Trump recovering from COVID-19 at the White House, a number of questions are being asked about his apparent rapid recovery.
Is it due to the unusual combination of drugs he was given? If so, are those medicines available to the average citizen with COVID? As CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported Tuesday, it depends.
Even if the president fully recovers, which is still not a certainty, we won’t know if it was due to the three-drug regimen he was given or if it was luck of the draw. Most COVID patients, including the elderly, do recover. Still, could those drugs be the difference?
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We’ve been told the president was administered an experimental cocktail of two manufactured antibodies from Regeneron and then the antiviral drug Remdesivir, which Trump is still getting. Finally, he has also received several doses of the powerful steroid Dexamethasone.
Each drug has its own pluses and minuses. Some are proven, others are not, but given all together?
“To my knowledge, nobody has done all three drugs such as this,” said Dr. Mark Jarret of Northwell Health. “So nobody really knows the interaction this early in the game of all three drugs together.”
Because the experimental antibody cocktail is only available in a clinical trial, where its cost would be covered, only 10 or so people have ever received it outside a trial on a compassionate use basis like the president.
Remdesivir is expensive and only has temporary experimental use authorization for hospitalized COVID patients. Dexamethasone is the only fully approved drug of the three. It’s an inexpensive steroid that has been effective for COVID patients with severe lung inflammation.
Clearly, this triple drug protocol is not something that any other COVID patient would be offered, nor should they, given the potential unknown drug interactions. Dr. Jarret said if a patient truly required any of these medications, they would find a way to provide them regardless of cost.
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