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TOCILIZUMAB FAILS ADDRESSING COVID-19 PNEUMONIA

Focus: Prelims, GS-III Science and technology

Why in news?

Tocilizumab, a drug that was recommended by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) for emergency use in coronavirus (COVID-19) patients, has been found to be ineffective in reducing the associated pneumonia.

Details

  • Though unproven, a rise in cases and mortality translated into a global scamper for the drug.
  • There was high demand for it in India too with stocks running out at pharmacists and reports that it was being blackmarketed.
  • Originally developed for rheumatoid arthritis, Actemra/RoActerma, the brand name under which the drug is sold, was first approved by the United States’ Food and Drug Administration to be tested.
  • The primary aim was to check if the drug, which is given intravenously, improved health or reduced mortality when compared to standard of care treatment.
  • Tocilizumab works by suppressing the action of a pro-inflammatory chemical that the immune system relies on to recruit a host of cells that can destroy the Sars-Cov-2 virus.
  • However, an excess of this commandeering can damage healthy cells and even kill the patient.

-Source: The Hindu

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October 2022
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