Last week the WHO approved two new drugs to treat people with COVID-19. This is positive news - but we need to make sure everyone who needs them, around the world, can access them. Crucially, this will help to save lives.
A drug called Baricitinib has been recommended for patients with severe COVID-19, while another drug, Sotrovimab, is for those who have mild COVID-19 but are at high risk of hospitalisation - such as older people or those with underlying conditions . The approvals were authorised following trials on more than 4,000 COVID patients.
The WHO is talking with the manufacturers to ensure equitable and affordable access for people in all countries.
The world must learn from the inequality of COVID vaccine distribution between high and low income countries. In Africa, 85% of people still haven’t received a single jab . During the biggest health crisis in memory, equal access to medical resources should be a guarantee, not a privilege for those in rich countries.
“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most inhuman,” said civil rights activist Dr Martin Luther King in 1966. This week, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged the world’s decision-makers to act on Dr King’s words .
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Sources: , ,  World Health Organization