Following news that the United States Health and Human Services (HHS) received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating COVID-19 patients using convalescent plasma; Brian Hicks, medical analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view, “This authorization comes at a time when currently existing COVID-19 treatment options and their efficacy are limited. GlobalData expects this EUA will provide much-needed relief for US patients infected with this disease. If all eligible convalescent patients donate their plasma on a recurring basis, a significant portion of the 3.5 million US patients currently with an active case could be treated.”
“According to GlobalData’s COVID-19 Dashboard, a cumulative number of 2 million patients have recovered from the virus in the US. However, not all can donate their plasma as there are several essential requirements for donating – such as having sufficient antibody counts. Furthermore, some patients may experience limited supplies of plasma due to blood type incompatibility.
“As of now, few treatment options exist for COVID-19, none of which has been proven to effectively treat all cases. Remdesivir has been shown to accelerate patient recovery, albeit mostly for those who were treated early on in their infection. Dexamethasone has been used to treat hyper-immune responses developed among some patients when infected, but not the disease itself. A vaccine is yet to be developed, with questions regarding its cost, global access and efficacy remaining unanswered. This highlights the dire need for additional treatment options to be made available, and the FDA has clearly addressed this challenge in this recent EUA.”