Arthritis drug in low supply after becoming treatment for COVID-19

Coronavirus

Arthritis patients are struggling to receive certain treatments due to the nationwide shortage of the drug Actemra.

The drug is in low supply after becoming a treatment for COVID-19 patients.

Springfield arthritis patient, Bo Parish, said the drug keeps her afloat.”I see life without it as just being more pain,” Parish said.

But recently, Parish said she had to go months without receiving the drug.

“I walk the fine line all the time and this threatened to push me over the line,” Parish said.

Her doctor with 417 Rheumatology, Dr. David True, said it’s because critically ill COVID-19 patients are in need.”In some ways this is like robbing Peter to pay Paul,” True said. “You’re taking medication that works and is effective for patients away from them, to help other people for a treatment that we weren’t sure how well it worked.”

While the supply for Actemra has recently improved, Parish said she hopes it stays that way.

“I’ve had almost all of my joints replaced, both knees, both hips, one twice, both shoulders, and I have to have my right elbow replaced next year,” Parish said.

True said he hopes the recent increase in drug production will continue to help the problem.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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