Hungary has become the first European country to grant authorisation to the emergency use of US drugmaker Eli Lilly’s Covid-19 antibody drug bamlanivimab, the human resources ministry said on Wednesday.
The National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition (OGYEI) earlier this month approved the use of bamlanivimab for the treatment of patients with mild and moderate cases of Covid-19 who are at risk of developing more serious forms of the disease, the ministry said in a statement.
Bamlanivimab antibody therapy can minimise complications resulting from coronavirus and help patients avoid hospitalisation, thereby also easing the pressure on doctors, nurses and the hospital system as a whole, it added.
Patients will be administered the drug in designated hospital centres, the ministry said, adding that the cost of the treatment would be fully covered by the government.
Hungarian coronavirus patients could have access to the treatment as early as the second half of January, it said, adding that Hungary will receive thousands of ampoules of bamlanivimab in the first quarter of next year.
Bamlanivimab is the first monoclonal antibody therapy to have been granted authorisation in the United States and Canada.