Concern grows about shortage of plasma after FDA expands access to COVID-19 treatment

[KSTP TV, August 24, 2020] There is a growing concern about a shortage of plasma after the Food and Drug Administration moved to expand access to the COVID-19 treatment.

The FDA issued an 'emergency use authorization' for convalescent plasma Sunday, which will make the blood antibody therapy more widely available.

Previously, COVID-19 patients could only receive plasma through a clinical trial or investigational program, such as the nationwide Expanded Access Program.

"If it becomes more readily accessible, it will become more widely used and may veer into the 'scarce resource' terrain," said Dr. Frank Rhame, an infectious disease specialist at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. "We're going to have to decide how we're going to deal with it if it becomes a scarce resource."

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