The University of Oxford has announced that a low dose of steroid treatment dexamethasone reduces death by up to one third in patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms.
The drug, which is cheap and widely available, was studied as part of the RECOVERY trial established in March, involving 11,500 patients across 175 hospitals in the UK.
According to the research, one death would be prevented by treatment of around eight ventilated patients or around 25 patients requiring oxygen alone.
It will be great news if dexamethasone, a cheap steroid, really does cut deaths by 1/3 in ventilated patients with COVID19, but after all the retractions and walk backs, it is unacceptable to tout study results by press release without releasing the paper. https://t.co/ZP5GVMUCW3— Atul Gawande (@Atul_Gawande) June 16, 2020
“This is tremendous news today from the Recovery trial showing that dexamethasone is the first drug to reduce mortality from COVID-19,” said the UK Government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance.
“It is particularly exciting as this is an inexpensive widely available medicine.”