The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Friday that it has recommended two new drugs to treat COVID.
Why is it important: The recommendations come as cases rise around the world and could particularly serve low-income countries that have struggled to contain the disease due to lack of vaccines and other medical necessities.
Details: The WHO strongly recommends baricitinib, an oral medication typically used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, for patients with severe or critical symptoms. It is recommended to be administered with corticosteroids.
- The WHO also conditionally recommends the use of the monoclonal antibody sotrovimab to treat mild or moderate symptoms in patients at high risk of hospitalization, including older, immunocompromised and unvaccinated patients.
- “The extent to which these drugs will save lives will depend on their availability and affordability,” the organization said in a statement.
- The recommendations are based on evidence from seven trials involving more than 4,000 patients who had a wide range of COVID symptoms.
To note: The WHO said it was working to “secure global supply capacity and equitable and sustainable access to newly recommended treatments”.