FDA halts approval of blood plasma as COVID-19 treatment

The FDA is holding off on granting emergency use authorization to COVID-19 survivors' blood plasma as a potential treatment for the disease, according to the New York Times.

Several federal public health officials — including National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, MD — encouraged FDA leaders to hold off on authorizing the use of blood plasma until there is more conclusive data proving its effectiveness in treating COVID-19, the New York Times reported.

There have been no clinical trials published in a peer-reviewed journal proving blood plasma's effectiveness in treating COVID-19. However, Mayo Clinic is conducting a large-scale human trial that could produce more conclusive data in the near future.

The FDA has halted its emergency use authorization process as it reviews more data, but an approval could still be issued in the next couple months if it finds data to prove blood plasma's ability to treat COVID-19, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases's clinical director, H. Clifford Lane, MD.

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