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Coronavirus: cheap drug substantially cuts severe case death risk, according to large UK trial

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© Sudok1 | Dreamstime.com A trial at Oxford University suggests an existing low cost drug can cut the risk of death from Covid-19 substantially. Tests involving 6,000 hospitalised Covid-19 patients suggest the drug can cut the risk of death for those on ventilators from 40% to 28%. For patients needing oxygen the risk of death ...

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Coronavirus: cheap drug substantially cuts severe case death risk, according to large UK trial

© Sudok1 | Dreamstime.com

A trial at Oxford University suggests an existing low cost drug can cut the risk of death from Covid-19 substantially.

Tests involving 6,000 hospitalised Covid-19 patients suggest the drug can cut the risk of death for those on ventilators from 40% to 28%. For patients needing oxygen the risk of death could be cut from 25% to 20%.

The findings are potentially the biggest breakthrough in Covid-19 treatment so far. Lead researcher Prof Martin Landray told the BBC that the findings suggested one life could be saved for every eight patients on a ventilator and one for every 20-25 treated with oxygen.

The drug, dexamethasone, is a steroid treatment that calms the immune response. A course of the globally available drug costs around £35.

However, the drug does not seem to help those with milder symptoms who do not need help breathing.


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