The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) closed Florida's monoclonal antibody treatment sites on Monday after the federal government abruptly removed the treatments from Emergency Use Authorizations.
The Florida Department of Health released a statement on Monday evening condemning the "abrupt" decision to take away treatments that can prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death in high-risk patients who have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19.
"This evening, without any advanced notice, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revised the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)...The revised EUAs do not allow providers to administer these treatments within the United States," the statement reads.
"Unfortunately, as a result of this abrupt decision made by the federal government, all monoclonal antibody state sites will be closed until further notice...Florida disagrees with the decision that blocks access to any available treatments in the absence of clinical evidence."
The FDA said Monday the antibody drugs from Regeneron and Eli Lilly should no longer be used because the treatments are unlikely to be effective against the omicron variant, The Associated Press reports.
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has heavily promoted antibody drug treatments as a signature part of his administration's COVID-19 response, setting up infusion sites and lauding them at news conferences, while also encouraging Floridians to get vaccinated.
Last September, DeSantis slammed the Biden administration for withholding monoclonal antibody treatments from the state, telling Floridians that he will fight "come hell or high water" to get those treatments for his residents.
DeSantis explained that when it became apparent that the treatment was working, the Biden administration took over control of the supply of Regeneron, one of the monoclonal antibody treatments, and cut Florida's supply.