VIJAYAWADA: There is an increasing acceptance of Monoclonal Antibody Cocktail among people as it is found to be effective in the initial stages of Covid vaccination. Though a bit expensive, it promises better recovery in the mild cases of Covid. Several corporate hospitals have started administering the drug cocktail, and the response from the patients has been more than satisfactory. Manipal Hospital near Vijayawada has administered it to around 200 patients and there have been no complaints. Till date, zero mortality rate has been reported in the people who were administered the drug cocktail.
According to Dr Gutta Lokesh, consultant pulmonologist at Manipal Hospital, Monoclonal Antibody Cocktail is a mixture of two monoclonal antibodies (synthetic) -- Casirivimab and Imdevimab. Both Imdevimab and Casirivimab are human immunoglobulin G-1 (IgG1) monoclonal antibodies that act against coronavirus spike protein. “The drug does not allow the virus to enter the human cell,” he explained. It is administered in the form of injection after testing the patient for viral load through RT-PCR. Based on the CT value, it is administered into mild to moderate cases.
The therapy is more beneficial for those in the high risk category, particularly among senior citizens, whose immune levels are decreasing. “Those suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and immune related diseases, kidney and lung problems can benefit more from it,” he explained. The cocktail should be administered within one week after symptoms of Covid and it is even better if it is done within two days, he added. After Switzerland-based pharma company Roche launched Monoclonal Antibody Cocktail in the last week of May (when the second wave impact started reducing in India), it was recognised as a better treatment at the initial stages of the infection for mild cases.
In Andhra Pradesh, more and more corporate hospitals are advising the therapy to the patients. Even at Vijayawada Government Hospital it was administered to two patients. “It is very useful in the initial stages of mild cases, but not after the infection sets in,” explained a senior doctor in the hospital. According to Dr T Uma Shakar of Tulasi Hospitals in Guntur, they have observed qualitative improvement in symptoms in just 2-3 days of administering the drug cocktail.
Each vial (two doses) of Monoclonal Antibody Cocktail costs Rs 1.19 lakh and one person needs only one dose, cost of which would come around Rs 60,000 excluding the hospital handling charges and other variable costs. “I paid Rs 70,000 to Rs 75,000 for the treatment. But it was worth it as there was visible improvement in symptoms,” said a patient, who was suffering from mild case of Covid.
Each drug cocktail dose costs Rs 60,000
Doctors say Monoclonal Antibody Cocktail therapy is very useful in the initital stages of mild cases, but not after the infection sets in. Each vial (of two doses) costs Rs 1.19 lakh and a person needs only one dose, cost of which would come around Rs 60,000 excluding the hospital handling charges and other variable costs