The provincial authorities in Punjab have imposed a complete ban on the sale of Actemra injection in the open market as they mull treating critical COVID-19 patients with it.

The Corona Experts Advisory Group has issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) with regard to the use of the Actemra injection.

According to the SOPs, Actemra injection will be used on trial basis at some hospitals, initially for 500 critically ill patients admitted in ICUs.


The experts advisory group will approve the hospitals that will treat patients with Actemra injection. The group will witness the trial of the injection in government hospitals.

The Punjab Healthcare Commission will monitor the use of the injection at private hospitals and a committee of the hospital will approve the use of Actemra injection.

A private company will issue this injection after approval of a specific profarma, sources said. The needy patients will be issued this injection 24 hours. The hospital and the company will keep the record of the use of injection.

The data of recoveries and deaths after use of Actemra injection will also be compiled, sources said.

The Punjab Healthcare Commission will be competent authority to audit the company and the hospital over usage of the injection. And this record will be submitted to the experts advisory group.

The Punjab government has recently approved the use of Actemra, a life-saving drug, for treating critically ill Covid-19 patients in the wake of a sudden rise in the death rate reported by state-run hospitals across the province.

The 400mg injectable drug — an interleukin-6 inhibitor which goes by the generic name of tocilizumab — will be prescribed to patients who develop lung complications and an abnormal level of IL-6 in the blood. The IL-6 is an endogenous chemical which causes inflammation.

Actemra injections had reportedly given encouraging results in highly critical coronavirus patients.