President Trump announced that the Food and Drug Administration had approved the emergency use for convalescent plasma treatment for COVID-19 patients. There have been positive signs that this could be an effective treatment, but experts caution that there is not enough data to know for sure since a full clinical trial has not been conducted.
Clinical Trials and Use For Plasma Treatment
The convalescent plasma treatment involves infusion of the portion of blood that has the most antibodies from recovered patients of COVID-19 into patients currently battling the disease. The treatment was tested on about 70,000 COVID-19 patients and has shown positive results and a drop in mortality, but a proper clinical trial involving a placebo to see the differences has not been conducted yet. There is also a concern that since the EUA allows for more patients to receive the treatment, fewer patients will be willing to sign up for a full clinical trial where they may receive a placebo which would make it difficult to confirm the effectiveness of the treatment.
Politicization Of Convalescent Plasma Treatment
During the White House announcement about the emergency use authorization of convalescent plasma, the President threw stones at the FDA for delaying the approval for suspected political reasons. Despite these assertions, the head of the FDA says that the doctors at the FDA make all their decisions based on available data. There have been rumors that the emergency use authorization was granted due to pressure from the White House to speed up the process.
Moving Too Quickly?
Medical treatments being rolled out too quickly can often lead to negative consequences such as side effects and potential ineffectiveness could arise. However, with this treatment, it is confirmed to be safe but may not be as effective as enthusiasts hope. This determination of safety is what has allowed it to be approved without complete trials.
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