What We're Reading: Eli Lilly Ends Antibody Trial; Pros, Cons of Telehealth; AAP Issues New Opioid Guidelines

Eli Lilly will end its clinical trial of bamlanivimab in patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019; pros and cons of telemedicine and in-person care; new guidance on opioid use in pregnancy.

Eli Lilly Stops Antibody Trial on Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19

Eli Lilly & Co. announced today it will be ending the clinical trial of its antibody drug bamlanivimab, in combination with remdesivir, a day after the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found the combination therapy to exhibit no significant improvement among patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). According to NPR, the study had initially been paused by the pharmaceutical company on October 13 due to a potential safety concern. While the trial showed no clinical benefit for patients taking the combination therapy, both Eli Lilly and the NIH still plan to pursue several additional trials involving the antibody drug, with the subsequent trials examining its efficacy among patients with less advanced stages of COVID-19.

Pros and Cons of Telemedicine, In-Person Visit

With the emergence of telehealth amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a piece by Kaiser Health News details the pros and cons of both remote and in-person medical and behavioral health visits. As noted in the article, patient satisfaction of telehealth is high, with distinct advantages including quicker appointments that can be conducted in the comfort of the home or a workplace setting and saving time, as well as costs on gas and parking. While convenient, virtual visits are not recommended in cases where doctors need to touch patients to properly assess their condition, such as in diabetes-related neuropathy. Children were additionally said to benefit greater from in-person health care visits.

AAP Issues New Opioid Guidelines

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued new guidance on opioid use in pregnancy with aims to improve care for women and newborns affected by their mothers’ drug use. The Associated Press reported that the incidence of affected women and infants has risen in recent years, with insufficient treatment cited as a notable issue, as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. According to the AAP report, pregnant women should have access to medication to treat opioid abuse, with 2 opioids, buprenorphine and methadone, indicated as effective treatments. Furthermore, the AAP says hospitals should have written protocols for assessing and treating newborns affected by opioid abuse.