The World Health Organisation (WHO) has for the first time recommended a combination of drugs to prevent severe COVID-19 disease in infected high-risk patients.
The WHO published its new recommendations in the British Medical Journal on Friday.
The WHO referred to studies indicating a combination of casirivimab and imdevimab by the U.S. company Regeneron and the Swiss company Roche can improve patients’ chances of survival.
WHO now recommends the administration of casirivimab and imdevimab for coronavirus patients with previous illnesses who run the risk of falling seriously ill with Covid-19 and face treatment in intensive care units.
“Patients at higher risk for hospitalisation and those who have not developed natural antibodies against Covid-19 are the two patient groups that stand to benefit most from the combined drug treatment.”
The WHO urged manufacturers and governments to address the high price and limited production of the Regeneron antibody combination.
It also noted that negotiations are being held with Roche on matters to lower prices, possible donation and fair distribution around the world.
An aid organisation, Doctors Without Borders, reported that Regeneron has already filed patent applications in at least eleven poorer countries.
The aid organisation called on the Regeneron company to refrain from enforcing patents in poorer countries.
“It was not fair that people who live in poorer countries do not have access to these Covid-19 drugs, which reduce the risk of death.
“Just because pharmaceutical companies have a monopoly and want high returns, ” the aid organisation said.(dpa/NAN)