India may drop plasma therapy to treat Covid-19 -
India may drop plasma therapy to treat Covid-19
Posted 23 Oct 2020 11:48 AM


The Indian Council of Medical Research has suggested that it might drop plasma therapy from the national guidelines for treatment of the novel coronavirus, as the treatment was found to be ineffective in halting the infection's progression and reducing mortality.

ICMR Director-General Balram Bhargava noted that India had carried out one of the biggest trials of plasma therapy in the world. "In the light of the trials, we have had discussions in the National Task Force (NTF). Further, we are taking it up with the Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) � it may be deleted from the national guidelines,� he said.

Convalescent plasma therapy could soon be discontinued as a treatment for COVID-19 patients, the Centre has said Tuesday. The therapy continues to be used widely across the country. This, after plasma therapy failed to benefit COVID-19 patients in the largest randomized trial conducted in India, carried out by the ICMR in August. The study found that plasma didn't particularly help lower mortality or severity of COVID-19 in patients treated with it.

So far, it has been used and permitted as an experimental treatment in the national clinical management of COVID-19 protocol. ICMR Director-General Balram Bhargava said at a press briefing Tuesday that it could be discontinued soon.

"We are now discussing it with the joint monitoring group for the deletion of plasma therapy from the national guidelines," Dr Bhargava said. "That is the discussion ongoing and more or less we are reaching towards that."

Bhargava's announcement comes just as more reports of the rampant black market for plasma, which can only be donated and not traded. Some states, including the national capital and Maharashtra have also set up plasma banks to match potential donors with recipients.

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