UK gets approval for use of dexamethasone to treat COVID-19 patients

U.K. gets approval for use of dexamethasone to treat COVID-19 patients

A medical breakthrough emerged once again as dexamethasone could be a life-saving drug that could eliminate the coronavirus.

Medical companies have been on a craze in searching for a cure for COVID-19, whether it be a vaccine or a drug. From Gilead’s remdesivir mania to vaccine trials reported by Moderna and Novavax, it looks like the world is in for another discovery.

Some countries such as Singapore also tried to implement their own contact tracing instead of relying on the app provided by Google and Apple to efficiently contain the coronavirus spread.

This week, news came out about a cheap alternative drug that could help severely ill patients with the coronavirus.

Dexamethasone gets go signal from NHS

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock has recently announced on Twitter that Dexamethasone has been approved by the National Health Service (NHS) for immediate use.

The U.K. government has stockpiled enough dexamethasone to treat over 200,000 people and the NHS will make the drug available to COVID-19 patients.

This year, an artificial intelligence startup in London tried to search for a cure for the coronavirus, and it looks like the U.K. medical division is stepping up.

The clinical trial gets impressive results

Supporting this medical breakthrough is the recent trial that was led by a team from Oxford University.

Over 2,000 patients were given dexamethasone and the findings were remarkable. For patients on ventilators, it lowered the risk of death from 40% to 28% while for oxygen-dependent patients, it lowered the risk of death from 25% to 20%.

As per BBC News, chief investigator Prof. Peter Horby said that this is the only drug so far that has been shown to reduce mortality and he considered this as a “major breakthrough.”

In addition, lead researcher Prof. Martin Landray said that the treatment would take up to 10 days of dexamethasone and it only costs about £5 [AU$9] per patient.

It is also important to note that this drug does not appear to help people with milder symptoms of COVID-19 who do not need help with their breathing. However, patients can avail of remdesivir in the U.K.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also acknowledged the initial clinical trial results from the U.K. and WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus congratulated the government for this “life-saving scientific breakthrough.”

With over 8 million global cases of COVID-19, per the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, this recent discovery from the U.K. may help propel positive sentiment to the economy worldwide.

Featured image courtesy of Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

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