UK National Health Service approves COVID-19 treatment

UK National Health Service approves COVID-19 treatment

Drug trials show risk reduction of mortality for those on oxygen, and ventilated patients

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The United Kingdom has approved the use of an anti-inflammatory drug for coronavirus treatment today after government-funded clinical trials.

Dexamethasone is approved for use across the country’s National Health Service after research showed the drug saved lives by significantly reducing risk of death in hospitalised patients who require oxygen.

It comes into effect immediately, according to the British High Commission.

“Thousands of lives will be saved in the UK with the government immediately authorising the NHS to use the world’s first coronavirus treatment proven to reduce the risk of death,” the statement from the commission read.

“Dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory drug, has been immediately approved to treat all UK hospitalised COVID-19 patients requiring oxygen, including those on ventilators, from today.”

“The drug has been proven to reduce the risk of death significantly in COVID-19 patients on ventilation by as much as 35 percent and patients on oxygen by 20 percent, reducing the total 28-day mortality rate by 17 percent,” it continued.

The trials were funded by the UK government via the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The Oxford University RECOVERY trial is reportedly the first clinical trial anywhere in the world to show a treatment provides significant impact in reducing patient mortality.

The High Commission noted the British government has taken action to secure supplies of dexamethasone in the UK, buying additional stocks ahead of time in the event of a positive trial outcome.

The country has stockpiled enough of the drug to treat some 200,000 people, according to the commission.

“The drug 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 in another country,” read the statement.

“This will protect supply for UK patients by enforcing regulatory action on those who flout the restrictions.”

While Dexamethasone has been successful in the management of hospitalised patients with COVID-19 who are receiving oxygen, there has been no benefit for those who are not receiving oxygen.

According to the statement, the RECOVERY trial reported the findings of 2,104 patients randomised to Dexamethasone in comparison with 4,321 patients randomised allocated to usual standard of care alone.