New Zealand approves new Covid drug
New Zealand approves new Covid drug

Wellington: New Zealand's medicine regulator approved Ronapreve, a new Covid-19 medicine that can both prevent and treat the disease, on Tuesday. However, it is not a substitute for vaccination, and its effectiveness against the Omicron variant has yet to be demonstrated. Ronapreve is a monoclonal antibody drug that mimics the body's natural defences against disease, according to Chris James, group manager at the Health Ministry's medicine regulatory arm Medsafe.

According to clinical advice, it is a significant advance because it reduces the severity of Covid-19 by keeping more cases out of the hospital and shortening the duration of symptoms and infectious period, which reduces the risk of patients passing the virus on to others.

Ronapreve is approved for the treatment of Covid-19 in people who have been severely affected by the virus and are at high risk of developing severe disease, he said. He added that the drug is also approved for preventing Covid-19 in people who have been exposed to the virus and have a medical condition that makes vaccination unlikely to protect them.

Individuals with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients, transplant recipients, and those with immunodeficiency disorders, fall into this category. These people are frequently susceptible to infections and respond poorly to vaccination, according to James, who added that Ronapreve is not approved for use in children.

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