Demand for Genentech's Actemra increased 279% from June to August

The pandemic has caused a substantial increase in the number of inpatients receiving Actemra, Genentech's anti-inflammatory monoclonal antibody that has been authorized to treat COVID-19. 

The average demand for Actemra in intravenous format increased 279 percent from June 14-25 to Aug. 2-13, according to data Vizient released Aug. 26. Simultaneously, fill rates for hospitals' orders of the drug decreased from 99 percent to 45 percent.

Actemra was used in just 4.5 percent of all COVID-19 cases, but these cases tended to be more severe, as evidenced by higher lengths of stay, rates of intensive care unit utilization and expected mortality. More than 40 percent of COVID-19 patients who received Actemra also receive invasive ventilation.

Hospitals are experiencing a shortage of the drug. On Aug. 16, Genentech said the shortage would last "at least the next several weeks."


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