Coronavirus:Arthritis drug seems to work

Naples doctor calls for use of medicine to be extended

(ANSA) - Rome, March 11 - A commonly used arthritis drug has shown "excellent results" in two coronavirus patients and a national protocol for its extensive use against the virus should be drawn up, oncologist Paolo Ascierto of Naples' Pascale Hospital said Wednesday. The drug, tocilizumab, "has shown it is effective against pneumonia caused by COVID-29," he said. One of the two patients will be taken off life support Thursday because of the improvement in his condition, Ascierto said.
    He called for a "national protocol to immediately extend the use of tocilizumab in an emergency that has killed 631 people and infected over 10,000 in Italy".
    Ascierto said the hospital had started treating two other patients with the virus on Tuesday and will begin treating another two Wednesday.


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