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COVID-19: UK Scientists and medical professionals to start clinical trials of existing medicines efficacy

Medical professionals and Scientists in the United Kingdom will soon be starting a clinical trials of existing medicines that may be beneficial for those hospitalised with the Coronavirus.

According to Peter Horny, a Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health, a range of potential treatments have been suggested for COVID-19 but nobody knows if any of them will turn out to be more effective in helping people recover than the usual standard of hospital care which all patients will receive. The RECOVERY Trial will begin by testing some of these suggested treatments: 

  • Lopinavir-Ritonavir (commonly used to treat HIV)
  • Low-dose Dexamethasone (a type of steroid, which is used in a range of conditions typically to reduce inflammation).
  • Hydroxychloroquine (related to an anti-malarial drug)
  • Azithromycin (a commonly used antibiotic)
  • Tocilizumab (an anti-inflammatory treatment given by injection)

Data from the trial will be regularly reviewed so that any effective treatment can be identified quickly and made available to all patients. The RECOVERY Trial team will constantly review information on new drugs and include promising ones in the trial.

In sequence to this, a letter by the The Chief Medical Officers of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the NHS Medical Director, have written to all doctors strongly encouraging participation in the national randomised trials in COVID-19 of which RECOVERY is one.

Credit: Nuffield Department of Population Health

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