Scientists have come across a cheap and affordable drug that can radically reduce the death rate in coronavirus patients.
This new drug has been deemed a "major breakthrough" in treating coronavirus cases, and it's called dexamethasone. Dexamethasone is a widely used steroid and is now the first drug shown to be able to save even severe coronavirus patients' lives. The drug was under trial, and this past Tuesday, the results were published, and it was discovered that dexamethasone reduced the death rates of coronavirus patients by around a third.
According to Martin Landray, an Oxford University professor co-leading the trial, known as the RECOVERY trial said, "This is a result that shows that if patients who have Covid-19 and are on ventilators or are on oxygen are given dexamethasone, it will save lives, and it will do so at a remarkably low cost. It's going to be very hard for any drug really to replace this, given that for less than 50 pounds ($63.26), you can treat eight patients and save a life."
The RECOVERY trial compared the outcomes of around 2,100 patients who were randomly assigned the steroid. On top of that, 4,300 patients didn't get it. What was found was that one in eight COVID-19 ventilated patients would have death prevented if they were administered the drug. For COVID-19 patients that are on oxygen, the drug would prevent one death in every 25 COVID-19 patients.
Co-lead investigator, Peter Horby said, dexamethasone was "the only drug that's so far shown to reduce mortality - and it reduces it significantly. It is a major breakthrough. Dexamethasone is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide. 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."
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