(NBC News) – The Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency authorization for the use of convalescent plasma therapy in treating COVID-19.
The move comes as the national death toll approaches 180,000.
President Trump announced the authorization Sunday, calling it a major “therapeutic breakthrough.”
The announcement comes after the White House suggested the Food and Drug Administration has delayed approval of a vaccine and therapeutics.
Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 have been donating plasma as part of ongoing studies.
Doctors and researchers say there is data the treatment can aid in the recovery of some patients.
“There was a 35 percent approval in survival, which is a significant clinical benefit,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said.
Still, critics say its too soon to determine the treatment’s effectiveness, and that clinical trials must be done.
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