Govt considering scrapping plasma therapy as Covid treatment option

The government is diligently discussing whether plasma therapy should be pulled out from the list of treatment alternatives for Covid-19 patients under the national guidelines for the management of Covid.

This matter arose when multiple international trials and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which controlled the largest trial in the world reported that pervading blood plasma from a recovered patient showed not very noteworthy benefits on the ultimate result of a Covid patient.

On Tuesday one of the directors-generals of ICMR and Secretary, health research, Dr. Balram Bhargava said, “We have done the largest trial on plasma therapy in the world with 464 patients across 39 hospitals and with more than 350 authors. It has now been accepted in BMJ (the British Medical Journal) and we have received a proof, it will appear very soon … more than 10 pages of hardcore science talking about the role of plasma in Covid.”

According to the response of The Print at a press conference, Bhargava, said, “They have discussed this in the national task force and also talking over now with the joint monitoring group that plasma therapy may be removed from the national guidelines. Plasma therapy is “not related with depletion in mortality or progression to severe COVID-19”, the ICMR study, called PLACID, had concluded.

The US Food and Drug Administration had in August put its crisis authorization for plasma therapy on pause after arising data on the treatment was not strong enough to justify its continuation.

Bhargava added that discussions are also currently ongoing about the recent findings of the WHO’s Solidarity trial on the lack of efficacy of drugs like remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine in treating Covid. However, he pointed out that the data is only interim and the findings are yet to be peer-reviewed.

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