Drugs Current Affairs - 2020

DCGI approves COVID-19 drug to reduce mortality rate

On April 20, 2020, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved trial of a drug to reduce mortality rate of COVID-19 patients.

Highlights

The COVID-19 drug that was developed by the Cadila Pharmaceuticals along with Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is to enter into trial. The clinical trial has been approved by DCGI. The drug had been used to treat critically ill patients suffering from Gram Negative Bacterial Sepsis.

Gram Negative Bacteria

Gram Negative Bacteria with Sepsis is a systematic disease that are caused by micro-organisms. It is common in children with weak immune system. Gram Negative Bacteria are those bacteria that have strong membranes around their cells than the gram positive bacteria. This makes them much more difficult to treat.

Sepsis

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition. Normally, human body released chemicals into the blood stream to fight an infection. When the chemicals in the bloodstream go out of balance, sepsis occurs;

Why used for COVID-19?

The patients suffering from COVID-19 and Gram Negative Bacterial Sepsis have similarities and hence the drug is being used to treat patients suffering from COVID-19. The drug used to treat Gram Negative Bacterial Sepsis has been proved to be safe and has not reported any systemic side effects so far.

GoI: A high level force set up to work on drugs and vaccine

The Government of India has set up a high-level work force to test vaccines and drugs. The task force consists of members from NITI Aayog, DRDO (Defence Research Development Organization), ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research).

Highlights

The main aim of the task force is to set up vaccine development process. It will create a list of national and international organizations that work on vaccine development. Currently, there are 70 clinical trials being conducted all over the world to find a vaccine for COVID-19. Of these 5 have entered human trials.

Role of DBT

The Department of Biotechnology has been made the central coordination committee to develop the vaccine.

Plan of India

The Government of India has been till now focusing on preventive measures. Also, it had been working on repurposing of drugs. Very few measures have been adopted so far to discover a drug or vaccine. The team will help to accelerate the discovery.