Last Updated on December 4, 2020 by The Health Master
With convalescent plasma (CP) therapy proving efficacious for C-19 patients, the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) have jointly issued licenses to 39 blood banks to produce plasma in the state to facilitate CP therapy for C-19 patients.
State FDA and CDSCO issuance of license is also a big boost to the Maharashtra government’s recently launched Project Platina which aims to treat 5,000 C-19 patients through CP therapy by August, 2020. “As of today 400 units have been produced and close to 250 units being used up to treat C-19 patients in the state,” according to an official associated with the development.
CP therapy involves convalescent plasma to be transfused into critical patients to boost their immune response to C-19 Union health ministry has allowed its off-label use on compassionate grounds for moderately ill patients since June 13, 2020. Plasma donations take from 45 minutes to an hour after basic tests are run on the donor. After this, a certificate is given to the donor acknowledging his service. Any C-19 patient who recovered from the disease 14 days prior is eligible to donate plasma. The donor should weigh at least 50 kilograms and be in the 18-60 age group.
Touted to be the world’s largest plasma therapy trial for treatment of C-19 patients with severe symptoms, Maharashtra government launched Project Platina aimed at enhancing chances of survival of serious C-19 patients by providing free plasma therapy at 21 government-run centres in Maharashtra, including four in Mumbai.
“It will be world’s largest trial / treatment project, where in we intend to benefit and save around 500 lives of critically ill C-19 patients of Maharashtra. The donors are available in large numbers,” the state government had said in a press statement. “This trial will help formulate definite treatment guidelines for the entire country in managing serious C-19 patients and thus be a milestone in turning a page in the pandemic,” the state government said.
Considering the growing demand for convalescent plasma for C-19 patients, Central Drugs Standard Control Organization has fast-tracked approvals for plasma banks to boost clinical trials and therapy for C-19.
Plasma banks have been set up in Delhi, Kolkata, Punjab, Rajasthan and Mumbai. CP therapy has gained a lot of prominence in the country amidst growing demand for medicines like remdesivir and tocilizumab among other expensive drugs. Clinicians strongly recommend CP therapy as a feasible one as plasma can be stored for a year at a temperature of minus 30 degree centigrade.