This ninth update of WHO’s guideline on therapeutics includes a recommendation that casirivimab-imdevimab not be used for patients infected with the Omicron variant
WHO has updated
its living guidelines on COVID-19 therapeutics to include a conditional
recommendation on molnupiravir, a new antiviral medicine.
the first oral antiviral drug to be included in the treatment
guidelines for COVID-19. As this is a new medicine, there is little
safety data. WHO recommends active monitoring for drug safety, along
with other strategies to mitigate potential harms.
these concerns and data gaps, molnupiravir should be provided only to
non-severe COVID-19 patients with the highest risk of hospitalization.
These are typically people who have not received a COVID-19 vaccination,
older people, people with immunodeficiencies and people living with
Children, and pregnant and breastfeeding women
should not be given the drug. People who take molnupiravir should have a
contraceptive plan, and health systems should ensure access to
pregnancy testing and contraceptives at the point of care.
the care of a health care provider, molnupiravir, an oral tablet, is
given as four tablets (total 800 mg) twice daily for five days; within 5
days of symptom onset. Used as early as possible after infection, it
can help prevent hospitalization.
Today’s recommendation is
based on new data from six randomized controlled trials involving 4796
patients. This is the largest dataset on this drug so far.
with a recommendation on molnupiravir, this ninth update of WHO’s living
guideline on therapeutics includes an update on casirivimab-imdevimab, a
monoclonal antibody cocktail. Based on evidence that this combination
of drugs is ineffective against the Omicron variant of concern, WHO now
recommends that it is only given when the infection is caused by another
Molnupiravir is not widely available but steps have been taken towards increasing access, including the signing of a voluntary licensing agreement. The Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) is making a limited supply available to countries with access constraints.
has also invited manufacturers to submit their products for
prequalification, with a number of manufacturers of molnupiravir going
through assessment now. WHO evaluates the quality, safety and efficacy
of medical products for United Nations and other large suppliers to low-
and middle-income countries. More WHO quality-assured manufacturers
mean that countries have a greater choice of products and more
Source: WHO Website