MANILA – The city government of Manila received on Tuesday an additional 500 vials of immunosuppressive drug Tocilizumab that it had purchased for severe coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients, according to Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.
“Good news na naman, yung inorder natin na Tocilizumab, ulit dumating na kahapon yung ating 500 pieces na 400 mg each na Tocilizumab. The last we had this, talagang andaming nabuhay, kahit hindi taga Maynila (the Tocilizumab that we have ordered, 500 pieces of 400 mg each, were delivered yesterday. The last time we had this, many lives were saved, not only those from Manila),” Domagoso said in his Facebook live update on Wednesday.
The Tocilizumab vials cost the Manila local government PHP13 million but Domagoso said he did not mind its high cost as long as lives are saved.
“Napakamahal po talaga pero kahit na isang milyon pa isang piraso kung makakapagpabuhay ng tao, balewala ang pera (This is really expensive but even if it cost P1 million per piece, money will never be an issue as long as lives are saved),” he said.
The Department of Health (DOH) earlier said the use of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab were based on WHO Solidarity Trials.
The DOH clarified that these drugs are used only for critical and severe COVID-19 cases and not yet recommended for mild and asymptomatic cases.
“Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID) COVID-19 Living Recommendations suggest the use of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab as a treatment for patients with critical and severe COVID-19 cases. Remedesivir is used under Compassionate Special Permit and Tocilizumab is a registered anti-inflammatory drug,” the DOH said.
Domagoso said the additional vials were procured by the city government to strengthen the city’s response against the Covid-19 pandemic.
He added that Tocilizumab vials will be offered to patients admitted in public and private hospitals, whether or not they are residents of Manila.
“Ito po ay io-offer din natin sa public and private hospitals for free bukod sa six district hospitals ng lungsod at Manila Health Department (We will offer this both in public and private hospitals for free, aside from the city’s six district hospitals and the Manila Health Department),” Domagoso said. (PNA)