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23 Jun 2020

COVID-19: Dexamethasone Shows Promising Results In Critically Ill Patients

The RECOVERY trial (Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy) led by Professor Peter Horbyand Professor Martin Landray made a major breakthroughin the treatment of COVID-19.

Dexamethasone, a low-cost and widely available drug, showed excellent results in critically patients, cutting the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators and a fifth for those on oxygen.

Already used to reduce inflammation in other conditions (like arthritis, asthma and some skin conditions), Dexamethasone appears to help high-risk patients with COVID-19 but does not seemsto help people with milder symptoms of coronavirus who do not need assistanceforbreathing. The UK government has 200,000 courses of the drug in its stockpile and says the NHS will make dexamethasone available to patients.

The study, led by a team from Oxford University, monitored 2,000 hospitalized patients who were given the drug and compared it to more than 4,000 other patients. According to Professor Landray, one life could be saved in every eight patients on ventilator and in every 20 to 25 patients treated with oxygen. 

Martin Landray also emphasis on the price of this treatment: up to 10 days of Dexamethasone costs about 5 Pounds. The price and availability of Dexamethasone could be a crucial benefit for developing countries with high numbers of COVID-19 cases.