Health Care

A Novel Approach to Equitable Distribution of Scarce Therapeutics

Peer-reviewed Publication

Emily Rubin, MD, JD, MSHP; Scott L. Dryden-Peterson, MD; Sarah P. Hammond, MD; Inga Lennes, MD, MBA, MPH; Alyssa R. Letourneau, MD, MPH; Parag Pathak, PhD; Tayfun Sonmez, PhD; and M. Utku Ünver, PhD

November 2021

In fall 2020, the Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization for monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies for outpatients with COVID-19. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts issued guidance outlining the use of a reserve system with a lottery for allocation of mAbs in the event of scarcity that would prioritize socially vulnerable patients for 20% of the infusion slots. The Mass General Brigham health system subsequently implemented such a reserve system. The researchers ask: can a reserve system be deployed successfully in a large health system in a way that promotes equitable access to mAb therapy among socially vulnerable patients with COVID-19?