Punjab Government allows the use of a life saving drug to treat Covid-19

Reportedly, the Punjab Government has allowed the use of a life-saving drug known as Actemra for treating critical patients of Covid-19. The news seems to be like a light in the dark, however, this 400mg injectable drug costs Rs 60,000 for a dose. And the doctors are advised to use it twice for the patients admitted in the Intensive Care Units.

The drug is an interleukin-6 inhibitor (also known as tocilizumab) is advised to be prescribed to the patients who develop severe lung complications through the abnormal amount of IL-6 deposits in the blood. IL-6 is known to cause inflammation which becomes a reason for death in severe cases.

The price of the drug is however a case of discussion and consideration for the patients who cannot afford such an expensive drug – especially when it is life saving.

The decision of this treatment for the corona virus was taken due to an increased pace of reported cases and deaths after the recent uplift of the lockdown two weeks before Eid-ul-Fitr. As reported, the decision was taken in a meeting organized by Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid.

Sources have briefed about the inclusion of leading pulmonologists, vice chancellors of top medical universities along with their principals, professors and government’s Corona Expert Advisory Group (CEAG). The educational medical institutes are allowed to purchase 20 doses f drugs initially. Moreover, the drug is reported to treat and recover 90% of Covid-19 patients who had severely damaged lungs and had lower chances of survival visibly.

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