The RECOVERY trial has determined that the low-cost steroid medication dexamethasone has the potential to reduce COVID-19-related mortality in patients with severe disease.
Dexamethasone was shown to reduce COVID-19-related deaths by one-third in ventilated patients and one-fifth in other patients receiving oxygen alone. However, the trial found that treatment with dexamethasone had no benefit for patients with COVID-19 who did not require respiratory support.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, said: ‘It is particularly exciting as this is an inexpensive widely available medicine. 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.’
Information on the implementation and management of the supply of dexamethasone for the treatment of COVID-19 has since been released by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.