Commission approves first drug against covid for use in SUS

Conitec (National Commission for the Incorporation of Technologies in the Unified Health System) approved this Wednesday (30) the incorporation of the first drug to treat covid-19 in Brazil. This is Olumiant (baricitinib).

The drug is indicated to treat hospitalized adult patients who require oxygen or non-invasive ventilation.

The body, which is part of the Ministry of Health, had already granted a preliminary favorable opinion for the incorporation, after carrying out a public consultation.

In a note, Conitec explains that “the favorable points for the incorporation were the positive outcomes in the studies showing a reduction in mortality in hospitalized patients, economic evaluations and budgetary impact analyses”.

The approval takes into account that the drug “is sustainable for the SUS and that there are no other treatment options available”.

Approved in 15 countries for use in cases of covid, an estimated 740,000 patients worldwide have been treated with Olumiant.

The drug is for oral use and is already used in more than 70 countries, including Brazil, for the treatment of arthritis and, more recently, for atopic dermatitis. For these cases, distribution in the SUS started in 2020.

Anvisa approval

Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) had already approved, in September 2021, the use of the drug for hospitalized patients with covid-19. For this, it was based on two clinical studies.

In trials, the drug demonstrated a potential 38% reduction in mortality. The study was carried out in the US, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Russia, India, the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan and South Korea.

In Brazil, 366 patients at 18 clinical centers participated in the study in five states.

According to the manufacturer, Eli Lill, Olumiant proved to be effective in reducing mortality in hospitalized patients.

The recommended dose of Olumiant in adult patients hospitalized with Covid-19 is one 4 mg tablet once a day for 14 days or until discharge, whichever comes first.

There is still no date for the drug to be used in the SUS, but with the approval it is already known that it will be available free of charge in public hospitals or those associated with the SUS.

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