Plasma therapy no longer part of Covid-19 treatment, says ICMR

Plasma therapy no longer part of Covid-19 treatment, says ICMR


n Monday, the Government revised the clinical guidance of Covid-19 treatment and dropped the off label use of convalescent plasma which was not found beneficial in reducing the progression to severe death or disease. This came following a meeting of the ICMR National task force where all members were in favour of removing the convalescent plasma from the guidelines as its ineffectiveness and inappropriate use in several cases.

According to ICMR officials "revised" the clinical guidelines for the management of adult Covid-19 patients and "dropped convalescent plasma (off label)". The decision to remove plasma therapy comes in the backdrop of some scientists including principal scientific Advisor K Vijay Raghavan cautioning against the "irrational and non-scientific use" of convalescent plasma for Covid-19 in the country.

ICMR chief Balram Bhargava and AIIMS Director, Randeep Guleria, public health professionals alleged that the current guidelines on plasma therapy are not based on existing evidence and pointed at some very early evidence that indicates a possible association between emergence of variants with lower susceptibility to neutralizing antibodies in immunosuppressed people given plasma therapy.

According to the letter issued by the ICMR, "The current research evidence unanimously indicates that there is no benefit offered by convalescent plasma for treating Covid-19. However, It continues to be prescribed rampantly in hospitals across India."