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Abu Dhabi first in world to receive COVID-19 medication Sotrovimab

June 16, 2021

Saudi Gazette report

ABU DHABI —
The world’s newest anti-viral treatment for COVID-19, Sotrovimab, is now available for early treatment of certain categories of COVID-19 patients in the UAE following a landmark agreement between Abu Dhabi's health department, the country’s leading Group Purchasing Organisation (GPO), Rafed, and global innovative biopharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

With the arrival of the first shipment on Tuesday, Abu Dhabi becomes the first city in the world to receive this drug, the UAE's official news agency WAM reported.

Sotrovimab is a monoclonal antibody treatment delivered through intravenous therapy. Sotrovimab can be used to treat adults and children above the age of 12 who meet certain criteria and are at risk of progressing to severe COVID-19, as per protocols that have been developed by the National Scientific Committee.

Studies have shown the medicine to prevent hospitalization and death in 85 percent of early selected treatment cases and can work on all known variations to date.

Following the US Food and Drug Administration's emergency use authorization, the UAE health ministry issued its endorsement of the new GSK medicine following a national assessment. Abu Dhabi's health department and Rafed executed its agreement with the manufacturer to ensure deliveries as early as June and July, enabling patients in the UAE to be among the first in the world to access the new therapy.

Health authorities in Abu Dhabi have worked on the treatment protocols that will guide doctors in defining at-risk patients and ensuring that they have access to Sotrovimab according to their risk profile and eligibility criteria.

Abu Dhabi-based Rafed will facilitate the procurement, storage and distribution of Sotrovimab via the Rafed Distribution Center — the region’s largest specialized cold-storage facility. The Center has played a vital role to support the efforts of the HOPE Consortium, and is a milestone collaboration by healthcare, logistics and supply chain entities designed to facilitate the ongoing evolution of Abu Dhabi’s medical and life science offering to combat the pandemic, nationally and internationally.

Dr. Jamal Mohamed Kaabi, the undersecretary at Abu Dhabi's health department, said: "Abu Dhabi continues its efforts to maintain its number-one city position globally in terms of resilience and safety in COVID-19 times. Through the non-ending support and guidance from our leadership, we continue our daily preemptive efforts to search, assess and source through local and international collaboration, the best evidence-based treatment to our population in Abu Dhabi, UAE and beyond."

"This medicine is at the forefront of pharmaceutical advancement and is a powerful tool in our fight to end this pandemic. We are looking forward to implementing the eligibility criteria for emergency use of Sotrovimab as part of Abu Dhabi’s commitment to lead an all-encompassing COVID -19 response in prevention, treatment and care."

Rashed Al Qubaisi, CEO of Rafed said: "Sotrovimab represents a massive breakthrough in the fight against COVID-19. Through our close collaboration and partnership with the Department of Health and GSK, we have been able to work swiftly in the procurement of the medication to ensure an effective and timely roll-out across the UAE. The Rafed Distribution Center continues to fulfil its mission of better serving the UAE public and extending Abu Dhabi’s COVID-19 response to the world."


June 16, 2021
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