The US approves emergency use of plasma therapy on COVID-19 patients

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The US approves emergency use of plasma therapy on COVID-19 patients - We The World Magazine
Image courtesy of The Hill via Twitter

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed the emergency application of plasma therapy on severely ill coronavirus patients in the US, Trump also announced.

The convalescent plasma therapy, also known as plasma therapy is an experimental treatment which is thought to have a positive effect on COVID-19 patients.

The therapy uses plasma – a white entity of blood – extracted from already recovered COVID-19 patients which has antibodies of the virus and is then administered into the infected person to boost immunity against the disease.

According to the BBC, so far, the US has already administered the therapy in 70,000 patients only. Meanwhile, in India, the therapy has been widely used in contrast to the US.

Plasma therapy is a century-old treatment to fend off flu long before the vaccine came in the scene and is a ‘go-to-tactics’ whenever a new disease arrived and history says it has been mostly effective, although not in every case, the Associated Press noted.

“This is what I’ve been looking forward to doing for a long time,” the president told reporters on Sunday, shortly after accusing the FDA of delaying the vaccine roll-out citing political reasons.

“I’m pleased to make a truly historic announcement in our battle against the China virus that will save countless lives,” Trump said.

Trump hailed the treatment as a ‘powerful therapy’ and has urged Americans to come forward and donate their plasma if they had recovered from the virus.

“Obviously, they (FDA) are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives!” Trup tweeted slamming FDA.

While the therapy is being approved in countries, there are speculations over the treatment’s efficacy. It must be noted, the FDA approval only implies an “emergency use authorization” since it is still an “investigational product.”

The permission to use the therapy, however, comes with a restriction of pathways that the FDA has set. It means patients will be able to obtain the therapy following one of the three pathways designed by the agency, which includes – Single Patient Emergency IND, Expanded access and Clinical trials.

“It appeared that the product is safe and we’re comfortable with that and we continue to see no concerning safety signals,” director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Peter Marks was quoted as saying.

“Covid-19 convalescent plasma can be made available on an experimental basis through local production provided that ethical and safety criteria are met for its preparation and use”, WHO said last month.