Recently the President announced that the FDA had approved emergency use for convalescent plasma treatment for COVID-19 patients. There have been signs that this could be an effective treatment, but experts caution that we do not have enough data to know for sure.
Treatment and Trials Of Plasma Treatment
The convalescent plasma treatment involves infusion of the part of blood that has the most virus antibodies from recovered patients of COVID-19 into patients who are currently battling the illness. The treatment has been tested on around 70,000 COVID patients and has shown positive results and a drop in mortality, but a proper study involving placebo to see the difference has not been conducted. There is also a concern that since the EUA allows for more patients to receive the treatment, fewer patients will sign up for a clinical trial where they may receive a placebo. This has the potential to make it difficult to confirm the effectiveness of the treatment.
Politicization and Approval Of Plasma Treatment
During the White House announcement about this emergency use authorization, the president took to throwing 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 data that they have available. 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 Fast?
Medical options being pushed out too quickly can often lead to negative consequences as negative side effects and potential ineffectiveness could arise. However, with this treatment, it is confirmed to be safe but may not be as effective as we hope. This determination of safety is what has allowed it to be approved without complete trials.
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