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Covid-19 treatment: choosing the right medicines | BOOM

Sep 08, 2020 00:00 IST

The Covid-19 disease is still rapidly evolving and maybe, we were far more cautious earlier than we are today. As we look for treatment, cures and the coronavirus vaccine do we now understand drugs used to treat the novel coronavirus? As patients, do we know enough about these medicines? Are we choosing the right questions and medicines used in Covid-19 treatment before we take these medicines? BOOM Explains. S P Kalantri, Dir Professor & Med Superintendent, Kasturba Hosp, Sevagram says that we badly need well designed, properly conducted randomised controlled trials and then take decisions on which medicine to use. If we take decisions based on anecdotes, stories, personal experiences and fancies, we will end up with more chaos and confusion. Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Former Prof & Head, DCM & SPH, PGIMER says that unethical practices by drug companies and doctors has pushed gains made by medicine and science back by 50 years. There is no fixed scientific treatment authorised for Covid-19 but pushing for unnecessary drugs to keep a patients family hopeful about a lost cause will make people suspicious of proven science. Murali Neelakantan, Lawyer, says that regulatory agencies do not differentiate between existing and new medicines - even if an old medicine has a new usage, they have to go through all the trials. India doesn't have any law for emergency authorisation for any class of drugs. It is unethical to push for release of a drug or vaccine in weeks that legally takes months and years to be approved.