GS Paper - 2 (Diseases)

The World Health Organization (WH0) has recommended two drugs, baricitinib and sotrovimab, for treatment of Covid-19. Baricitinib, which is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, has been “strongly recommended” for patients with severe or critical Covid-19 in combination with corticosteroids. Sotrovimab, developed by GlaxoSmithKline with US partner Vir Biotechnology Inc, is an investigational monoclonal antibody for use in treating conditions caused by coronavirus.

What

  1. Baricitinib, an immunomodulator, is an alternative to tocilizumab: either of these drugs is given to patients who have severe Covid-19, are clinically progressing on steroids and have high inflammatory markers.
  2. Sotrovimab can be used in mild illness with patients of Delta and Omicron at risk of high progression.
  3. Baricitinib is cheap and widely available in India and is given to control hyper inflammation, which usually starts between days 7 and 14.
  4. Sotrovimab is not available in India. However, experts said that since Omicron now forms the major proportion of infections, the currently available monoclonal antibodies should be used only if there is clear proof that the person has been infected with the Delta variant.