FDA Approves Blood Plasma for Treatment of COVID-19

Agency approves use of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 treatment

*Therapy shows 35 percent success rate but evidence of efficacy remains inconclusive, says FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

The United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorised the use of blood plasma extracted from survivors of COVID-19 in the treatment of the virus.

The FDA, in a statement, Sunday said that the move was part of its ongoing efforts at containing the novel and ravaging Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The treatment involves taking blood rich in antibody from recovered COVID-19 patients, otherwise known as convalescent plasma, and providing it to those infected.

The regulatory agency said: “Based on scientific evidence available, the FDA concluded, as outlined in its decision memorandum, this product may be effective in treating COVID-19.

“It also agreed that the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks of the product.”

Mr. Stephen Hahn, FDA Commissioner, stated that the therapy had shown 35 percent success rate.

Nevertheless, reports indicate that evidence remains inconclusive about its effectiveness and appropriate dosage.

Hahn said: “I am committed to releasing safe and potentially helpful treatments for COVID-19 as quickly as possible in order to save lives.

“We’re encouraged by the early promising data that we’ve seen about convalescent plasma.”

He, nonetheless, noted that the treatment still needs to undergo randomised clinical trials to determine its safety and effectiveness.

The trials, which started in New York and some other states since April, had suffered delays and issues with finding volunteers, report stated.

President Donald Trump, Saturday, August 22 was reported to have lashed out at the FDA for hindering approval of Coronavirus vaccines and therapeutics for political reasons.

President Trump took credit for the authorisation during his evening news conference Sunday, when he said the step would “dramatically expand access to this treatment.

“We are years ahead of approvals if we went by the speed of past administrations. And that includes vaccines.”

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