Ontario science table recommends limiting use of COVID drug due to supply shortage


TORONTO — An expert group is recommending that Ontario clinicians ration doses of a drug used to treat COVID-19 patients in light of shortages.

The group of scientists advising Ontario on the pandemic published revised clinical guidelines this week reflecting the shortage of tocilizumab.

The COVID-19 science advisory table says the drug is recommended for critically and moderately ill COVID-19 patients within 14 days of hospital admission.

This week the group’s guidance was updated to recommend a fixed dose of 400 milligrams per patient and no second dose.

Dr. Peter Juni of the science table says the change is unlikely to impact patients’ treatment but it was recommended so the maximum number of people can benefit.

Their advice comes as Ontario hospitals grapple with higher-than-ever numbers of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units.