Selected NHS coronavirus patients will soon be able to access an experimental treatment to speed up their recovery, with the health secretary Matt Hancock suggesting it is probably “the biggest step forward’’ in medication since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.
The anti-viral drug remdesivir will be made available to patients meeting certain clinical criteria to support their recovery in hospital.
The drug is currently undergoing clinical trials around the world, including in the UK, and peer-reviewed data showed it can shorten the time to recovery by about four days.
Treatment will initially be prioritised for patients who have the greatest likelihood of deriving the most benefit, according to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
Satisfied the drug can help boost recovery, the government’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the use of remdesivir through its early access to medicines scheme.
The experimental anti-viral drug was granted emergency authorisation to treat Covid-19 in the US by the Food and Drug Administration earlier this month.
Source: The Independent, 26 May 2020