Drugs-COVID-19: Massachusetts General Hospital Study Confirms That Overpriced Tocilizumab (Actemra) Ineffective For Treating COVID-19
The overpriced IL-6 receptor inhibitor drug tocilizumab was constantly being pushed to treat COVID-19 despite showing no efficacy and certain patients experiencing adverse effects. Certain unethical researchers were even manipulating studies so show its effectiveness in returns for monies and the drug was being pushed by a certain clansdestine group of billionaires for an EUA approval similar to what was accorded to remdesivir by the Trump administration.
The new study confirms that the drug tocilizumab (Actemra) does not reduce the need for breathing assistance with mechanical ventilation or prevent death in moderately ill hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
The research was led by physicians and researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).
The research findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa2028836
The study findings casts doubt on earlier research suggesting that tocilizumab, which is commonly prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other conditions, might be an effective treatment for patients with worsening cases of COVID-19.
Typically about 15 percent of patients with COVID-19 develop severe conditions. These patients typically develop pneumonia, which reduces oxygen levels in the blood and requires hospitalization. Evidence has suggested that this life-threatening condition may be caused by a so-called "cytokine storm," in which the immune system unleashes an abnormally high volume of inflammatory cells which are normally protective that damages the lungs and requires treatment with supplemental oxygen.
MGH rheumatologist Dr John H. Stone, MD, MPH, who was the principal investigator of the NEJM study told Thailand Medical News, "Inflammatory markers in the peripheral blood are elevated at sky-high levels.”
Studies have found that COVID-19 patients with elevated levels of a cytokine called interleukin-6 (IL-6) have a greater need for supplemental oxygen delivered with mechanical ventilation and greater risk of dying.
The overpriced drug tocilizumab claims to blocks IL-6.
Interestingly Dr Stone previously conducted clinical trials that led to the approval of tocilizumab for treating another inflammatory condition: giant cell arteritis.
Numerous manipulated past studies suggested that tocilizumab may benefit COVID-19 patients, though none were randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled ("gold standard") trials needed to confirm that hypothesis.
/> The new study, led by MGH researchers and conducted during the height of the pandemic by a group of seven hospitals, was called the Boston Area COVID-19 Consortium (BACC) Bay Tocilizumab Trial.
The clinical studies included 243 hospitalized patients with moderately severe cases of COVID-19 who had high levels of inflammation and at least two of the following symptoms: pneumonia, low blood-oxygen levels and fever. Two-thirds of the participants received an infusion of tocilizumab, while the remaining patients were given a placebo in addition to standard care. Most of the patients involved were receiving supplemental oxygen through a nasal tube or cannula.
The main primary goal of the study was to find out whether tocilizumab prevented recipients from eventually requiring breathing assistance delivered by a ventilator through a tube inserted in the mouth (intubation) or dying.
Importantly the study found that patients treated with tocilizumab were just as likely as those given placebo infusions to eventually require intubation or die over a four-week period. Likewise, the conditions of patients in both groups improved or worsened at the same rate.
Dr Stone said, "We demonstrated very clearly that, for patients with the disease severity we studied, the use of IL-6 receptor blockade is not warranted."
Dr Stone, noting that other studies of tocilizumab administered to patients already intubated have also found no benefit. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.07.30.20114959v1
Roche’s Tocilizumab currently costs around 950 euros (US$1030) per injection. A person might need two to three injections. The fact it can has to be injected guarantees additional income to hospitals and doctors promoting the drug.
It must be noted that many big pharma corporations have huge financial resources to manipulate studies, engage in PR lobbying and even buy media to further their profit –focused visions.
The drug is also sadly and stupidly still being used in countries like India.
Read also: https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/covid-19-drug-research-caution-advised-on-french-study-on-roche-s-arthritis-drug-tocilizumab-claiming-to-treat-covid-18-cytokine-storms
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