An emergency permit in the USA makes it easier to treat Covid-19 patients with blood plasma. However, the authorities are more critical of the therapy than the US President.
The US authorities have allowed the use of blood plasma in the treatment of diseases caused by the novel coronavirus. The plasma could be “effective” in the therapy of the lung disease Covid-19, announced the drug regulatory agency FDA. The plasma comes from recovered Covid-19 patients and contains antibodies against the virus. However, the success of the therapy has not yet been proven.
The approval of the plasma for the treatment of Covid-19 patients had been accelerated based on a special permit for emergency situations. US President Donald Trump said at a press conference in the White House that plasma therapy has shown an “incredible success rate” and will “save countless lives”. The emergency clearance came in handy for Trump the day before the Republican nomination convention. He spoke of a “breakthrough” and a “powerful therapy,” which is now being made easier to access.
Trump and the FDA, however, assessed the therapy option differently. In a letter describing the emergency order, FDA chief scientist Denise Hinton wrote, “Covid-19 convalescent plasma should not be viewed as the new standard for the care of Covid-19 patients. Additional data from other analysis and ongoing, well-controlled clinical Studies will appear in the coming months. ” The FDA only spoke of a “potential benefit” of the plasma that is greater than the known side effects.