To date, the few medications with proven effectiveness in COVID-19 are appropriate primarily for the treatment of severely ill, hospitalized patients in well-resourced healthcare settings. WHO recommends the use of monoclonal antibody treatment for people with early-stage COVID-19, but these treatments too are expensive and complex to use in resource-constrained settings. No proven medications for uncomplicated COVID-19 are widely available in low- and middle-income countries.
So where are we today with new and emerging therapeutics that would be both effective and affordable in preventing the progression of mild or moderate COVID-19 and thereby prevent hospitalization? A couple of promising treatments have emerged recently, with early efforts underway to make these drugs more available than COVID-19 vaccines have been. What are the current research priorities, and do current efforts meet the needs?
The COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition hosted a webinar that:
• Summarized the therapeutics development landscape for COVID-19
• Discussed the challenges in prioritizing drugs to be studied
• Assessed the treatment needs in low- and middle-income countries
• Discussed the challenges of ensuring affordable access to new therapeutics, and what can be done now to ensure equitable access globally to proven medicines.
Watch the recording