DOH says new Covid drug needs experts’ panel approval

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The Department of Health (DOH) clarified on Saturday that the Covid-19 treatment drug Ronapreve needs a positive recommendation from the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) and Living CPG (Clinical Practice Guidelines) before the government can procure it.

Ronepreve already has an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration for use in a number of hospitals.

The DOH said it has been reviewing the use of Ronapreve, together with experts who are continuously updating the Living CPG regarding its use in the clinical management of Covid-19 patients.

The health technology assessment also has to be concluded before hospitals can place an order through the government.

Ronapreve cannot be sold in the market since the government is the only one allowed to procure and distribute it.

“Hospitals can order Ronapreve once the government gets the approval to procure it based on the recommendations of HTAC and Living CPG experts,” DOH Undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

Ronapreve is a monoclonal antibody (mAb) drug to prevent and fight Covid-19. It mimics the natural antibodies that the immune system makes to fight disease.

The Food and Drug Administration released the Ronapreve EUA on October 1 for confirmed mild to moderate Covid-19 patients aged 12 and above, with a minimum weight of 40 kilograms, who do not need supplemental oxygen, and are at high risk of progressing to severe cases.

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