A shortage of Sanofi and AstraZeneca’s new respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) antibody Beyfortus has prompted several Senate Democrats to demand answers from the drugmakers. Senator Tammy Duckworth and her colleagues expressed concern that the companies “seem to have vastly underestimated” the quantity of Beyfortus, also known as nirsevimab, needed to protect young children during this RSV season.
The immunization, which was approved in July, has encountered supply issues, leading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prioritize available 100mg doses of Beyfortus for infants at the highest risk of severe RSV. Sanofi attributed the shortage to unexpected demand, despite implementing a robust supply plan. However, the lawmakers are now calling for a briefing on the current availability of Beyfortus and an explanation of how the supply issues transpired.
Aside from the supply concerns, Senator Duckworth raised questions about the cost of the antibody. She pointed out that Sanofi charges the same amount of $495 for a 5-pack of both the 50mg and 100mg doses. The senators, including Ron Wyden and Elizabeth Warren, have requested a response from AstraZeneca and Sanofi by November 30.
Sanofi responded to the senators, acknowledging the unprecedented demand for Beyfortus and their commitment to working closely with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC to meet the dosage requirements for the RSV season. The company expressed their eagerness to engage in discussions with policymakers to address the situation.
In conclusion, the shortage of Beyfortus, the RSV antibody manufactured by Sanofi and AstraZeneca, has prompted Senate Democrats to inquire about the supply issues and high demand. Concerns about the drug’s availability, pricing, and the companies’ awareness of the shortage have led to calls for a comprehensive explanation from the manufacturers.
1. What is RSV?
RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) is a common virus that causes respiratory infections, particularly in infants and young children.
2. What is Beyfortus?
Beyfortus is a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) antibody developed by Sanofi and AstraZeneca to protect against severe RSV infections in young children.
3. Why is there a shortage of Beyfortus?
The shortage of Beyfortus is primarily due to higher than anticipated demand, leading to supply problems for the drug.
4. Why are the senators concerned about the drug’s pricing?
The senators are questioning why Sanofi charges the same amount for different doses of Beyfortus and seeking clarification on the affordability of the antibody.
5. What action are Sanofi and AstraZeneca taking to address the shortage?
Sanofi and AstraZeneca are working closely with the FDA and the CDC to ensure an adequate supply of Beyfortus for the RSV season.