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Arthritis drug reduces risk of death among patients with severe COVID-19: EU drug authority

Arthritis drug reduces risk of death among patients with severe COVID-19: EU drug authority

In a statement released on Monday, the EU drug authority approved the use of an anti-inflammatory arthritis drug for severe COVID-19 patients because it reduces the risk of mortality.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) human medicines committee “has recommended extending the indication of RoActemra to include the treatment of adults with COVID-19 who are receiving systemic treatment with corticosteroids and require supplemental oxygen or mechanical ventilation,” the regulator announced in a press statement.

The drug has already been used to treat patients with various forms of arthritis who suffer from inflammation.

RoActemra reduced the risk of death with patients who required extra oxygen or ventilation and their blood results indicated inflammation, the EMA explained, referring to a study involving over 4,000 hospitalized adult patients.

According to the study, 31% of the people cured together with RoActemra and standard treatment died within 28 days compared to 37% of those who only received standard treatment.

In addition, 57% of people from the first group were able to leave the hospital within 28 days compared to 50% from the second one.

Following the EMA recommendation, the European Commission will extend the medicine’s marketing license, which is owned by Swiss pharma company Roche.

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