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WHO grants prequalification of Roche’s Actemra/RoActemra for patients with severe COVID

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than one million patients with severe COVID-19 have been treated with Actemra/RoActemra, as recommended in the global treatment guidelines

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has granted prequalification of Actemra/RoActemra (tocilizumab) intravenous (IV) to treat patients with severe COVID-19. Prequalification is a confirmation by WHO that Actemra/RoActemra meets the WHO standards for quality, safety and efficacy for the treatment of COVID-19 in adults who are receiving systemic corticosteroids and require supplemental oxygen or mechanical ventilation. It helps procurers in low- and middle-income countries identify priority medicines to improve access to care and support better health, Roche notified in a statement.

Bill Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, Roche Pharmaceuticals, said in the statement, “We’ve partnered with WHO and others throughout the last year to ensure that our COVID-19 medicines and tests can potentially reach more than 100 low- and middle-income countries, and WHO’s prequalification of Actemra/RoActemra is just one of the paths taken together to achieve this……”

Actemra/RoActemra and Ronapreve (casirivimab and imdevimab, known as REGEN-COV in the US, were recommended in WHO’s Therapeutics and COVID-19 Living Guideline last year. Roche has established a comprehensive access approach to improve availability of both medicines around the world, added the statement.

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