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WHO approves two new drug to treat coronavirus patients. All you need to know

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday recommended the use of two new drugs for the treatment of Covid-19 patients amid Omicron concerns (PTI)Premium
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday recommended the use of two new drugs for the treatment of Covid-19 patients amid Omicron concerns (PTI)

  • The UN body has recommended the two new drugs to treat patients showing critical symptoms, as well as for the non-severe cases
  • The WHO has recommended Eli Lilly & Co.’s rheumatoid arthritis drug and GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s monoclonal antibody

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The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday recommended the use of two new drugs for the treatment of Covid-19 patients as the fast-spreading Omicron variant renders concerns. The UN body has recommended the two new drugs to treat patients showing critical symptoms, as well as for the non-severe cases. The WHO has recommended Eli Lilly & Co.’s rheumatoid arthritis drug and GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s monoclonal antibody. Lilly's baricitinib drug is a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor- a class of drugs used to treat autoimmune conditions, blood and bone marrow cancers, and rheumatoid arthritis.

As per the WHO,  baricitinib is “strongly recommended" for patients with severe or critical disease in combination with corticosteroids. Whereas sotrovimab can be used for patients with non-severe cases.

Here's what the WHO said about the new anti-Covid drugs:

  • According to the WHO, arthritis drug baricitinib can improve survival rates and reduce the need for ventilation in severely ill patients. It should be used with corticosteroids
  • The advice on baricitinib, for example, comes after U.S. and European Union agencies gave the drug emergency-use approval last May.
  • The WHO has made a conditional recommendation for the use of a monoclonal antibody known as sotrovimab in patients with non-severe cases. According to them, the drug should only be administered to patients at the highest risk of hospitalisation. In those at lower risk, it only showed 'trivial benefits".
  • Last year, the WHO approved Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc's monoclonal antibody to treat Covid patients.

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