Plasma Therapy: Not approved as a treatment for Covid 19 yet

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Plasma Therapy: Not approved as a treatment for Covid 19 yet

More evidence is required

Wednesday, 29th April 2020

A source said that a study will be conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) with 450 participants to verify the efficiency of plasma therapy, this week.


Plasma therapy should not be considered as treatment for coronavirus infection as there is no evidence of its success rate as of now, the government cautioned on Tuesday.


Plasma therapy involves transfusion of blood plasma into the infected patient’s body. This might result in decrease in severity of the infection. A couple of state governments have come forward to conduct trials and have sought for permission. When prophylactically administered, passive antibody therapy works the best, says a research paper published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.


Joint Secretary of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Lav Agarwal stated, “The ICMR has already stated very clearly that currently there are no approved therapies for COVID-19, including plasma therapies. Plasma therapies are being experiment with; however, there is no evidence to support that it can be used in treatment yet”. He added, “The ICMR has launched a national study to know the efficacy of plasma therapy. Until robust proof is available, we should consider it only for research or for trial purposes”.


However, he said, “Plasma therapy can have serious life-threatening complications if proper procedure and guidelines are not followed," he added. "Any treatment done without the ICMR's approval is illegal”.


The clinical trials should be done with due approval from ICMR, said a government source. ICMR has already approved permission for convalescent plasma therapy trials to SVP Hospital in Ahmadabad and the trial has already started.


The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and the Institutional Ethics Committee must approve the trials as this therapy is not advised to be used outside of the clinical trials for treatment by top biomedical research body. Top institutions were invited by the ICMR on April 12th to conduct the clinical trials to check the usefulness of plasma therapy against the disease.


Karnataka and Kerala governments have been permitted to conduct trials. The trials have begun last week in Karnataka whereas, the trials have not yet begun in Kerala.



Source: News 18

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