Life-saving Coronavirus drug is discovered and APPROVED for use

The NHS today approved dexamethasone to treat Covid-19 after a major British trial found the steroid could reduce the risk of death in patients hooked up to ventilators by up to a third.

In what is being called the biggest medical breakthrough since the pandemic began, scientists found the £5 drug also cut the odds of dying by a fifth for patients needing any form of oxygen during their battle against the disease.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock described the results — which prompted officials to instantly approve the drug — as 'astounding', claiming it will help to 'save thousands of lives while we deal with this terrible virus'.  
England's Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty called it the 'most important trial result' so far, while Number 10's Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said it was 'tremendous news'.

Dexamethasone, first created in the 1950s, is usually given to treat ulcerative colitis, arthritis and some types of cancer.
Results of the RECOVERY trial, which involved 6,000 Covid-19 patients and was led by Oxford University scientists, suggest the steroid can prevent death in one in eight ventilated coronavirus patients and one in 25 on breathing support. It is the first trial to show a treatment provides significant impact in reducing the risk of death.
But the drug — given as either an injection or once-a-day tablet on the NHS — had no benefit for people who were hospitalised with the virus but did not require oxygen. 
Dexamethasone is now the second drug available in the NHS arsenal to treat Covid-19, after Ebola medicine remdesivir was last month given the green light in another scientific breakthrough. 
Health chiefs today said they have already stockpiled 200,000 courses of the drug for British patients, after buying it ahead of the results of the trial.
Professor Martin Landray, lead researcher, said dexamethasone could have saved up to 5,000 lives if it was used throughout the UK's crisis. He said: 'If you were to design a drug that treats coronavirus, this would be exactly how you'd hope it works.'
The steroid prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation, a nasty Covid-19 complication that makes breathing difficult. In seriously unwell patients, the lungs become so inflamed they struggle to work.  

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