Members of the community may have noticed a large shipping container inside the Patterson Family Pharmacy parking lot. This is being used as a station to give monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19.
“[We offer] Regeneron,” said Owner and Pharmacist Ali Wright. “Basically it’s antibodies that target the COVID-19 spike protein which prevents the virus from penetrating the cells.”
If Regeneron sounds familiar, it's the same treatment that was used on President Trump after he tested positive for coronavirus in October of 2020.
The FDA authorized drug is now being rolled out to select locations, and at the time of this writing, Patterson Family Pharmacy remains one of the only locations in Stanislaus County along with Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Gould in Modesto to offer the treatment.
“We have a mobile clinic that we put together in the parking lot just to make sure we don’t have risk to patients and staff in the store.”
According to Wright, the treatment consists of four subcutaneous injections into the fat tissue, which she administers herself. Afterwards the patients are monitored and are able to return home.
“[When patients arrive] we monitor their vitals, discuss treatment and we give them four injections, one on each side of the stomach and one on the back of each arm and then we monitor them afterwards and observe them for one hour.”
Wright says that the treatment is indicated for patients with mild to moderate symptoms and can be given within ten days of symptom onset.
“The earlier it’s given the more effective it is.”
Patterson Family Pharmacy started offering the treatment at the beginning of November and Wright said that the community has seen great success so far, with patients usually starting to feel better within 24 to 48 hours and some patients who get the treatment early on don’t ever develop any symptoms at all.
“We have seen tremendous success in both unvaccinated and fully vaccinated patients who have had breakthrough infections,” said Wright. “Many people believe that there is no treatment for COVID-19, but this therapy was shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death by 70%.”
The treatment is currently given to patients under high risk categories such as being 65 or over, diabetic, having immune disorders and other reasons which can be found on the Regeneron website.
“We treat anyone that meets the criteria,” said Wright. “It’s a service we are offering to the community to try to help with the pandemic anyway that we can.”
Helping the community in any way that they can has been a motto for Patterson Family Pharmacy since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pharmacy was one of the first in the county to start administering vaccines once they became available, and has since administered over 10,000 vaccines.
“We were the first pharmacy in Stanislaus County to have the vaccine,” said Wright. “We literally got a call I think it was on a Wednesday night from the county saying ‘hey we got our shipments [of vaccines] do you wanna help with the rollout?’ So of course we said yes and we started clinics the next day within 30 minutes of receiving vaccines and we administered 100% of those doses within 24 hours.”
Besides the antibody treatment and vaccines, Patterson Family Pharmacy has been offering rapid antigen testing, PCR testing, antibody testing and OTC tests since January of last year.
The pharmacy hopes that they can continue to stay on top of the COVID-19 pandemic by offering new treatments for the virus as they become available.
“We stay very closely on top of everything going on with COVID,” said Wright. “Any opportunity we have to help our community we’ll take it..I have been speaking to the county about oral pills for COVID so we want to be a part of that process as well but we don’t know what that will look like [at the moment] but we want to make sure our community gets the best care that they can.”
Residents wishing to receive any of the services offered at Patterson Family Pharmacy are encouraged to make an appointment on their website: www.pattersonfamilypharmacy.com or if they wish to learn more about the services offered, such as the Regeneron treatment or COVID-19 vaccines they can call and speak to someone in the store at (209) 892-8444.
“We have been] having lots of conversations with patients about vaccines and teaching them and helping them learn…We are thankful that the community has placed their trust in us and allowed us to help them through this pandemic.”