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HHS Strikes Deal With AmerisourceBergen for Expanded Monkeypox Treatment Distribution
On September 7, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a significant expansion to their monkeypox vaccine distribution. The expansion results from a $19.8 million contract awarded to AmerisourceBergen. As a result, shipments of the JYNNEOS vaccine will increase to 2,500 per week.
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The Treatments Distributed for Monkeypox
The two monkeypox treatments affected by this contract are the JYNNEOS vaccine and the TPOXX antiviral.
Manufactured by Bavarian Nordic, JYNNEOS is a vaccine approved by the FDA for the prevention of monkeypox and smallpox. Originally approved in 2019, the vaccine is instrumental in the current monkeypox endemic, with over 800,000 vials shipped nationwide.
However, due to ever-increasing demand, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization for the method of vaccine administration in August. Rather than inject the vaccine beneath the skin (subcutaneously) in two doses, four weeks apart, medical professionals could now administer JYNNEOS one-fifth of a single dose between the layers of the skin (intradermally) for the same level of protection.
Developed by Siga Technologies, TPOXX is an antiviral for the treatment of smallpox. However, at the time of its approval, smallpox had been declared eradicated since 1980. Despite a lack of established safety and efficacy of TPOXX’s treatment of monkeypox, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) holds an Expanded Access Investigational New Drug protocol (EA-IND) that allows for its treatment of diseases outside of smallpox, including monkeypox.
The contract announced today expanded federal monkeypox treatment distribution to communities at the greatest risk of monkeypox infections.
The Expanded Monkeypox Treatment Distribution Deal
The $19.8 million contract awarded to AmerisourceBergen, a drug wholesale company, expands the Strategic National Stockpile’s (SNS) distribution capability. Before the deal, the SNS shipped these products to approximately five locations per jurisdiction. The HHS estimates that once implemented, the shipments of frozen JYNNEOS vaccine will increase up to 2,500 per week. In addition, the deal opens shipments of TPOXX to 2,500 locations.
On the contract, HHS Assistant Secretary Dawn O’Connell said, “Today’s announcement is the result of our real-time and ongoing conversations with states and jurisdictions aimed at improving the national response. This new commercial contract will help deliver vaccines and treatments to communities and at-risk individuals more quickly and bring us a step closer to ending the current outbreak.”
As of early September, the SNS distributed over 800,000 vials of JYNNEOS across the nation, in addition to 37,000 courses of TPOXX. With the contract announced today, that number will likely skyrocket, expanding the availability of treatments and protection against monkeypox.©www.geneonline.com All rights reserved. Collaborate with us: firstname.lastname@example.org