Treating COVID-19 patients with Dexamethasone may have saved a million lives worldwide, according to NHS England.
The widely available and inexpensive steroid was found to reduce coronavirus deaths following a clinical trial at Oxford University nine months ago.
Since then it is estimated that 22,000 lives have been saved in the UK using the drug, with an estimated million worldwide.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock described the news as “a real success story for British research”
Dexamethasone, which has been used mainly for major allergies, skin problems, inflammation and autoimmune conditions, was administered to patients hospitalized for the novel coronavirus since June last year.
A clinical trial conducted by scientists at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, in the Rehabilitation study, found that dexamethasone can reduce hospitalized patient mortality with Covid-19 and oxygen and respiratory need by 18% and 36 % individually.
“Thanks to the invaluable work of the NHS team and patients, nearly a million lives could be saved worldwide,” said NHS Managing Director Sir Simon Stevens.
“Research that can take years to respond in an unprecedented amount of time – with results reverberating around the world,” he said.
“Just like the virus, treatments and vaccines are spreading across borders as a strategy for this pandemic to leave humanity,” the director concluded.
(Supported by Agencies)