Wed, Jun-17-20, 05:09
Originally Posted by Benay
The British Medical Journal has an article that says they have found Dexamethazone effective against CO VID 19
Here's the story:
'Major breakthrough' as NHS rolls out £5 steroid that reduces deaths for most severe Covid-19 cases
The world's first coronavirus treatment that significantly reduces the risk of death is being given to NHS patients following groundbreaking trials by British scientists.
In a breakthrough described by Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, as a "remarkable achievement", the common steroid dexamethasone was shown to radically improve the chances of survival for the most ill patients.
Mr Johnson hailed the result as the "biggest breakthrough yet" in the treatment of coronavirus, both in Britain and globally.
"We are seeing the first chink of light," he told the daily Downing Street news briefing. "There is a genuine cause to celebrate a remarkable British scientific achievement. We have turned the tide on the virus."
The Government has been stockpiling dexamethasone since March in case the trials were successful. There are already supplies for 200,000 patients, and enough to cope with any second wave of the virus.
Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, confirmed that NHS patients on ventilators or oxygen would receive the drug immediately, saying he hoped it would save thousands of lives.
"This astounding breakthrough is testament to the incredible work being done by our scientists behind the scenes," he said.
The drug – commonly used to treat arthritis, severe allergies and asthma – costs just £5 for a full course of treatment and is expected to have a major impact on the coronavirus pandemic.
Scientists at Oxford University, who have been conducting trials on a number of drugs since March, announced on Tuesday that a 10-day course of dexamethasone lowers the risk of death for people on ventilators by one third.
Currently, 40 percent of patients with the most severe form of Covid-19 die. That means that, for every eight patients placed on ventilators, three will lose their lives. With the steroid, two will now die.
The drug, which can be taken orally or as an injection, also cuts the death rate of people needing oxygen by one fifth.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government's chief scientific adviser, said: "This is a ground-breaking development in our fight against the disease, and the speed at which researchers have progressed finding an effective treatment is truly remarkable."
Scientists said up to 5,000 lives could have been saved in Britain if they had known how effective the drug was at the beginning of the epidemic.
Martin Landray, the deputy chief investigator from the University of Oxford, said: "Since the advent of this disease less than six months ago, the search has been on for a treatment that actually reduces the risk of dying, and there hasn't been one until today. Now there is one.
"The results are sufficiently clear, and people can be treated this evening.
That's a major, major step forward.
"This is not an expensive drug, this is not a drug where there are supply chain issues or manufacturing issues. This is a drug that is globally available – so that is enormously important."
Dexamethasone has also been added to the Government's parallel export list, which bans companies from buying medicines meant for UK patients and selling them on for a higher price.
Professor Stephen Powis, the NHS medical director, said: "This is a huge breakthrough in our search for new ways to successfully treat patients with Covid, both in the UK and across the world.
"It is thanks to NHS staff and patients who participated in the trial that, from now, we are able to use this drug to dramatically improve Covid-19 survival for people in hospital who require oxygen or ventilation."
The results are part of the Recovery (Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY) trial, set up in March to test a range of potential treatments for Covid-19, including low-dose dexamethasone. More than 11,500 patients have been enrolled from over 175 NHS hospitals in the UK, including 2,100 on the dexamethasone trial.
The researchers said the drug should become the standard of care in the most sick patients.
Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health in the Nuffield Department of Medicine and the chief investigator of the Recovery trial, said: "This is the only drug that has so far been shown to reduce mortality and it reduces it significantly.
"It is a major breakthrough, and it's already in every pharmacy in every hospital.
"The survival benefit is clear and large in those patients who are sick enough to require oxygen treatment, so dexamethasone should now become standard of care in these patients.
"We have spoken to the NHS, and advice will be going out in 24 hours. Those 400 patients still on ventilators should be placed on this drug unless there is a clear reason not to."
Simon Stevens, the NHS chief executive, said: "NHS hospitals, researchers and clinicians have worked together at breakneck speed to test new treatments for Covid-19, and it is amazing to see work that would normally take years bear fruit in just a matter of months.
"This research agility is not only important for coronavirus patients but also augurs well for the streamlined innovation that the NHS and the UK life sciences now must pioneer."
Last edited by Demi : Wed, Jun-17-20 at 06:01.