Health advocates emphasized the importance of access to COVID-19 “innovative” treatments coupled with “a robust” vaccination program as these two will help the country to win its fight against the pandemic.
“We cannot wait until this pandemic is completely over in order to revive the economy…We need an innovative, accelerated, cross-sectoral and cost-effective approach to healthcare if we are to confront this lingering crisis decisively,” said Prof. Dindo Manhit, Stratbase ADRi President in a statement.
The government should look into the effectiveness of new treatments for COVID-19, said Universal Health Care Watch co-convenor Alvin Manalansan.
“We must work together to remove the barriers to these new treatments specifically developed for COVID 19. More government funding should be allocated to give access to these innovative treatments that have EUA (emergency use authorization) approvals in the developed countries and are proven to prevent costly hospitalization,” he said.
“This can potentially save government resources so that more COVID 19 patients may benefit. We need to bridge what has become a COVID 19 treatment accessibility divide, through a unified, patient-centered approach,” he added.
One of the treatments they highlighted was Ronapreve which was given an emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration last Oct. 1.
“It is a monoclonal-antibody just like tocilizumab but this is a developed drug specifically for the virus. It’s available as an infusion and it prevents severe COVID,” the statement said quoting Dr. Evan Glen Vista, Internal Medicine Specialist at St. Luke’s Medical Center.
Ronapreve acts like “vaccines in blocking the virus from entering the cells,” the statement read quoting Dr. Rontgene Solante, chief of the Adult Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Unit at San Lazaro Hospital.
“The earlier you catch patients while they have a mild to moderate infection, [the greater your chance of preventing them from becoming] high risk, severe and critical cases,” he said.
The Ronapreve is “authorized for confirmed mild to moderate COVID-19 patients aged 12 and above with a minimum weight of 40 kilograms who do not need supplemental oxygen and are at high risk of progressing to severe cases,” the Department of Health (DOH) said.