CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — On this week’s episode of Inside West Virginia Politics, host Mark Curtis and guests discuss health in West Virginia, including the latest COVID-19 treatment, telehealth options and transparency in prescription drug prices in the Mountain State.
New COVID-19 treatment available in Kanawha County
In Segment 1, Dr. Sherri Young, DO, FAAFO, is the Health Officer at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. She’s discussing the latest on COVID-19 in West Virginia, including the health department offering a new treatment for the virus.
KCHD is offering monoclonal antibody clinics in addition to their free COVID-19 vaccination and testing clinic. Monoclonal antibodies or mAb are made in a laboratory to fight a particular infection, and in this case, the virus that causes COVID-19. These antibodies are then directly administered through therapy to COVID-positive patients with an infusion or shot.
Young says this treatment is available with a doctor’s recommendation.
“There’s an increased demand for testing right now because people are positive, they’re symptomatic, people need a negative test to go back to school or work. We’re still vaccinating, and I hope we are capturing more and more people getting that first and second dose. It’s essential that we keep the vaccinations going,” said Young.
Dr. Sherri Young urges COVID-19 vaccinations
In Segment 2, Dr. Sherri Young, DO, FAAFO, is the Health Officer at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, is back to talk about getting children age 12-17 to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 85% of people ages 65 and older have already been fully vaccinated; for people ages 12 years old and older, the number is 60%.
Young is also encouraging residents who are immunocompromised to get the booster shot.
Remote patient monitoring now available in West Virginia
In Segment 3, Traci Quillen, Vice President of Community Wellness Technology Inc. is talking about remote patient monitoring telehealth in West Virginia. She says Community Wellness can provide Bluetooth-enabled devices for patients to utilize in their homes so that physicians can continue monitoring patients. “We have the ability to provide Bluetooth-enabled devices for patients to utilize in their homes; that way physicians can continue monitoring patients,” said Quillen.
For more information about telehealth, visit the Community Wellness website.
Prescription drug price transparency in West Virginia
In Segment 4, JB McCuskey, West Virginia’s State Auditor, discusses the politics of drug prices in West Virginia. Earlier this week, McCuskey held a press conference with AARP about reducing the prices of prescription drugs for senior citizens.
The State Auditor is in partnership with AARP to post prices and information about prescription drugs, including costs to produce, current drug prices, and why some prices are increasing as well as a list of drugs that have increased in price, drugs that have lost their patent rights, and the costs related to research and development.