The World Health Organization (WHO) is recommending a drug for the first time as a preventive treatment for severe covid 19 disease in infected high-risk patients.
It points to studies showing that the antibody combination of casirivimab and imdevimab from U.S. company Regeneron and Swiss company Roche can improve their chances of survival. The WHO published its new recommendation Friday in the British Medical Journal.
In Germany, this antibody combination is already used in special cases for corona patients. However, many countries that cannot make risk assessments themselves are waiting for such WHO recommendations. Aid organizations also generally use only WHO-recommended agents.
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The WHO is now recommending that the drugs be administered to Corona patients with pre-existing conditions who are therefore at risk of becoming severely ill with Covid-19 and would then need to be treated in intensive care units. Likewise, patients who are already severely ill and have no antibodies to Covid-19 are to be treated with the drug.
The challenge is high costs and scarce production, the WHO said. That’s why it is negotiating with Roche on lower prices, a possible donation and fair distribution around the world, it said. WHO advocated for other manufacturers to be allowed to produce as well, so that cheaper versions of the drugs could be brought to market.
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The aid organization Doctors Without Borders reported that Regeneron has already filed patent applications in at least 11 poorer countries. It called on the company to refrain from enforcing patents in poorer countries. “It’s just not fair that people living in poorer countries don’t have access to these Covid-19 drugs that reduce the risk of death just because pharmaceutical companies have the monopoly and want high returns,” said Elin Hoffmann Dahl of Doctors Without Borders. In addition, she said, Regeneron has received public funding for its development. According to information from the organization, the drug is available for about $2,000 (1,700 euros) in Germany and $820 in India.
- surce: k.at/picture: pixabay.com
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