WHO Grants Prequalification of Arthritis Drug

Story Highlights
  • Tocilizumab- a drug used to treat arthritis’s is granted prequalification by WHO.
  • It can now be easily accessible and utilized in the treatment of COVID patients with severe presentation.
  • Remdesivir and Dexamethasone are also prequalified.

Geneva: The WHO on Friday, prequalified ‘Tocilizumab’- a drug used for treating arthritis, for use in COVID patients hospitalized with severe disease presentation. Tocilizumab- is a monoclonal antibody manufactured by Pharma giant Roche has proven to reduced the risk of death and also hospitalization time in certain COVID patients. The price and inaccessibility of the drug would be sorted after the recognition by the UN Health body.

A single dose of the drug would go up to $600 in the lower-income countries, which would make it almost impossible for the inflicted to procure the medicine. The top health organization added three different compositions of the monoclonal antibody to its list of prequalified treatments for the pandemic to spur the production of cheaper generic versions. These drugs would also facilitate low- and middle-income countries’ authorization of them as COVID treatments.

Prior to this, Steroid dexamethasone and Remdesivir have been prequalified. Prequalification is a confirmation by WHO that the drug meets the WHO standards for quality, safety and efficacy for the treatment of COVID-19 in adults who are receiving systemic corticosteroids and require supplemental oxygen or mechanical ventilation. It helps procurers in low- and middle-income countries identify priority medicines to improve access to care and support better health.

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