Top UK medical experts have urged clinicians to enroll coronavirus patients in clinical trials.
In an open letter, the country’s chief medical officers and the NHS England medical director, Professor Stephen Powis, called on patients to participate in trials taking place in primary care, hospitals and intensive care units.
“At the moment, there is no proven treatment for COVID-19“, They said. “We need to collect reliable evidence through clinical trials.
“Using international evidence and UK expertise, the most promising potential treatments at this stage have been identified and the UK is conducting national clinical trials to gather evidence across the spectrum of disease. “
The top three national trials are: Principle (for high-risk primary care patients), Recovery (for those in the hospital) and REMAP-CAP (for critically ill patients).
Several other studies, including one that monitors immunocompromised children and youth, are also encouraged.
The chief medical officers of health, including Professor Chris Whitty, said the evidence from the trials “will be used to inform treatment decisions and benefit patients in the immediate future.”
“The faster the patients are recruited, the faster we will get reliable results,” they insisted.
The letter said that using treatments without participating in a trial would be a “lost opportunity”.
The recovery trial is being conducted by the University of Oxford and will test a number of treatment options for hospitalized people, including a drug used to treat HIV and hydroxychloroquine, which is linked to an antimalarial drug. .
More than 50 sites around the world are participating in the REMAP-CAP trial, which helps patients who develop community-acquired pneumonia (CAP).
It is a syndrome in which people who have not been hospitalized recently develop an acute infection of the lungs, often caused by viral infections.
New potential treatments specific to COVID-19 will be tested at these sites.
The Principle trial is open to people aged 50 to 64 who have symptoms of COVID-19 and who have an underlying medical condition such as heart disease, asthma or cancer.
It is also open to people 65 and over, with or without other illnesses.
The first drug to be tested is hydroxychloroquine, but other potential treatments will be used as soon as they are identified.
He came as advertised 684 other people died in the UK after contracting a coronavirus – bring the total number of deaths to 3,605.