Updated: May 28, 2021 8:14:01 am
Some private hospitals in Delhi-NCR have started offering monoclonal antibody therapy for mild to moderate ‘high-risk’ Covid patients.
This treatment uses the combination of Casirivimab and Imdevimab — popularly being called an ‘antibody cocktail’ — now available in India. Roche India and Cipla had announced its launch in the country on Monday.
Priced Rs 59,750 for a dose, the accessibility of this treatment will be limited. Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director at Delhi government’s Lok Nayak Hospital, which has been functioning as Delhi’s largest Covid facility, said the drug is not being considered there. “It’s very costly, we are not thinking about it. It’s for rich people… It’s also an experimental drug,” he said.
Indraprastha Apollo Hospital began offering the treatment on Thursday. “What it does is prevent the binding of the SARS-CoV2 virus. It needs to be given early, and ideally we’d like to give it within 48-72 hours of the patient turning positive, but it can be given within a week. The antibody cocktail is administered intravenously and the treatment has been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalisation and fatality and shortens the duration of symptoms. There are a clear set of indications for who it should be administered,” said Dr Anupam Sibal, group medical director, Apollo Hospitals.
According to hospitals which will be offering the treatment, it can be administered to those at high risk of severe Covid disease — those above 65 years of age; those aged above 55 with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, or COPD; those who have BMI above 35; those with chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, an immunocompromising condition, or currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment.
It will also be offered at Fortis Escort Heart Institute, Okhla. Medanta in Gurgaon has discharged its first patient to have received the treatment — an 84-year-old man who had received the treatment on Tuesday. In a statement, the hospital specified that the treatment is not recommended for patients who are hospitalised due to severe Covid, or require oxygen therapy, or require an increase in baseline oxygen ?ow rate due to Covid, or in those on chronic oxygen therapy due to underlying non-Covid-19 related comorbidity.
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