Posted: Thursday, June 18, 2020. 5:50 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that it welcomes clinical trial results from the United Kingdom (UK) that show the drug dexamethasone can be life-saving for COVID-19 patients who are listed as critical.
The WHO’s Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, noted that
the drug’s positive results have been shown to reduce mortality in patients that require oxygen or ventilator support, but that those benefits have not been observed with patients who have milder cases of COVID-19.
He added that the researchers only shared the initial insights about the results of the trial and that the WHO is looking forward to a full analysis of the data in the coming days.
“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,” Ghebreyesus said.
He also said that once the WHO gets a greater understanding of using dexamethasone as a method of treating COVID-19 the organization will update its clinical guidance to reflect how the drug should be used.
Dexamethasone is a steroid that has been used to treat inflammation in various conditions including some cancers since the 1960s. In 1977 the WHO put dexamethasone on its Model List of Essential Medicines. The WHO said that the drug is currently off-patent and affordably available in most countries.
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