Gellad weighs in on implications of latest COVID-19 treatment and vaccine options


A nationally noted expert on pharmaceutical precribing, Dr. Walid Gellad is an associate professor of general and internal medicine and of health policy and management. He also heads up the Center for Pharmaceutical Pollcy and Prescribing. Gellad has recently weighed in on the latest vaccine and therapeutics proposed for COVID-19.

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  • Eli Lilly’s Antibody Treatment Gets Emergency F.D.A. Approval
    New York Times - “It’s kind of the best times for these therapies to enter, because they can have an impact,” said HPM's Walid F. Gellad, who leads Pitt's Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing. “It’s also the worst time because we don’t have enough doses, and it’s going to add to the backlog of testing.”
  • Instant view: Pfizer, BioNTech say their COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective
    Reuters - “This is a hint that these mRNA vaccines are likely to work, and there’s at least one other. And they’re likely to be safe, at least from this trial. So that’s highly encouraging. The other thing that’s highly encouraging is that science can now create a vaccine in a relatively short amount of time and test it, which gives a lot of hope for the future when these things happen again.” 
  • Limits of the vaccine coverage plan
    Politico -  “The real use and benefit [of the antibody drugs] will be preventing people from going into the hospital,” Walid Gellad, director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing, told Prescription Pulse. …

  • For Eli Lilly’s newly authorized Covid-19 treatment, a dosing discrepancy causes confusion
    STAT News  … “This is not an ideal situation, because the dose discrepancies have confused people,” wrote Walid Gellad, director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing, in an email to STAT. ...

  • Why is the Pfizer vaccine announcement such a big deal? Here’s what don’t we know.
    Poynter … As Walid Gellad, director for the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at the University of Pittsburgh, said, “Not only is it highly effective based on the press release, but there were 90 cases so we don’t have to deal with the skeptics about interim analyses, and there appeared to be no safety signals. ...

  • FDA OKs Eli Lilly COVID-19 Drug, But Supplies Will Be Limited
    NPR  … "We don't want people running to the emergency room to get this therapy," says Dr. Walid Gellad at the University of Pittsburgh."We don't want people running to infusion centers where there are patients with cancer," he says. "And we don't want them running necessarily to their primary care doctor's office, that are not set up for these infusions. It is not clear at all where the infusions are going to happen."
    Sorting this out is likely to be chaotic, Gellad says. Federal health officials say hospitals can set up tents if they choose, or even provide the drug at home, through traveling nurses. But representatives from the home infusion industry say that service for a single treatment is impractical and would not be adequately reimbursed by Medicare, so home infusion is unlikely to be an option.



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