ICMR mulling to remove plasma therapy from Covid treatment protocol

New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) issued a big statement on Tuesday regarding plasma therapy, which is touted as a life saving intervention for patients suffering from severe Covid-19.

The Director-General (DG) of ICMR, Balram Bhargava, stated that plasma therapy may be deleted from the national clinical protocols for the management of Covid-19.

“We have had a discussion with the National Task Force for Covid-19 management. We are discussing further with the joint monitoring committee and contemplating on removing the plasma therapy from the national guidelines,” he said.

“We are more or less reaching towards a decision (to remove plasma therapy from the national clinical protocols),” Bhargava said during the weekly press briefing of the Union Health Ministry.

The statement has come in the wake of several studies conducted on the efficacy of convalescent plasma therapy which suggested that it did not reduce mortality or progression to severe disease condition.

ICMR’s own study, which came out in September, revealed that plasma therapy failed to save people dying from Covid-19.

India had conducted the world’s largest randomised controlled trials named PLACID Trials to study the efficacy of plasma therapy. The trials were conducted on 464 patients between April 22 and July 14 at 39 centres across the country. The study was published in a medical journal in September.

The result of the trials revealed that the plasma therapy failed to exhibit any significant difference in mortality rates between those who received convalescent plasma and those in the control group.

Besides, the ICMR chief also informed that the PLACID Trials would soon come out as a research paper in the New England Medical Journal.

“More than 350 authors contributed to the study which was accepted by the British medical journal and it is going to appear very soon as a full paper,” he added.

(IANS)

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