Trump administration grants emergency authorization for coronavirus plasma treatment

Trump administration grants emergency authorization for coronavirus plasma treatment
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  • The FDA said it was granting the emergency authorization because it is reasonable to believe that convalescent plasma may be effective in treating Covid-19 patients.
  • The announcement came on the eve of the Republican National Convention, and some top health officials have said the clinical data is too weak.
  • The treatment uses blood from Covid-19 patients who have recovered and built antibodies against the virus and infuses it into people with the disease to prevent severe cases.

The Trump administration on Sunday granted emergency authorization of convalescent plasma to treat hospitalized Covid-19 patients, despite concerns from some of the nation’s top health officials that data from clinical trials is too weak to support widespread application of the treatment at this time.

The Food and Drug Administration said Sunday it was granting emergency authorization because it is reasonable to believe that convalescent plasma may be effective in treating Covid-19 patients, and the known and potential benefits outweigh the known and potential risks of such products.

“Today’s action will dramatically expand access to this treatment,” Trump said at a White House press conference on Sunday evening, a day before the start of the Republican National Convention. “We’re removing unnecessary barriers and delays.”

The convalescent plasma treatment uses blood from Covid-19 patients who have recovered and built antibodies against the virus and infuses it into people with the disease to prevent severe cases, according to the Mayo Clinic, which is conducting studies on the treatment.

Several top health officials including White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins,  the director of the National Institutes of Health, have raised concerns about the data on the country’s largest blood plasma study. Their concerns that the data was too weak prompted the FDA to put a hold on granting emergency use for the blood treatment.

Source: CNBC

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