British scientists have carried out a major clinical trial they reported about on June 16, 2020. This trial showed the effectiveness of dexamethasone, corticoid used for its anti-inflammatory effect. This drug is no cure against Covid-19, but it reduces death by up to one third in patients put on breathing support or oxygen support. A ground-breaking development and even a “scientific breakthrough” for the World Health Organization who warmly hailed searchers for their work.
"The next challenge is to increase production and rapidly and equitably distribute dexamethasone worldwide, focusing on where it is needed most" the World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a digital press conference today. "Fortunately, this is an inexpensive medicine and there are many dexamethasone manufacturers worldwide, who we are confident can accelerate production".
In a press release, head of the clinical trial, Professor Peter Horby, explains “Dexamethasone is the first drug to be shown to improve survival in COVID-19. This is an extremely welcome result. The survival benefit is clear and large in those patients who are sick enough to require oxygen treatment, so dexamethasone should now become standard of care in these patients. Dexamethasone is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide.”
Consequently, the National Health Service (the British healthcare system) has already allowed the treatment to be widely used to cure patients the most badly infected by coronavirus. According to searchers, “1 death would be prevented by treatment of around 8 ventilated patients”.
WHO is delighted by the result of this trial, as China is facing a second wave of people infected by Covid-19. WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in an official press release: “This is great news and I congratulate the Government of the UK, the University of Oxford, and the many hospitals and patients in the UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough”.