Results of drug tests for CV 19

Some here have questioned what has happened to the UK tests for drugs that might help CV 19 patients.

Reminding you this site does not offer medical advice, I read that the UK trials have produced some good outcomes for the cortico steroid dexamethasone used on some pandemic patients.In the case of patients on ventilators one third benefited from this drug, and for patients given oxygen one fifth compared to patients not given it. Less ill patients did not benefit.

This drug is readily available from a range of manufacturers. It was first produced by Merck but now is widely manufactured around the world. It will be interesting to see what use doctors make of this option in the light of the findings of the trials.

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  1. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Well, the benefit was considerable.

    It appears that about one third on ventilators survived who would otherwise have died.

    However, as the adage goes, Prevention Is Better Than Cure.

    That must be the aim, for all citizens, for any responsible government.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Time and again we said we wanted secure borders and a manageable population… like New Zealand.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      If prevention causes more long term deaths than the illness itself Martin then cure is quite important.

  2. RichardM
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Interesting to see a footballer acting in a far more statesmanlike manner than most Tory MP’s who voted for a cap on free school meals for low income families in 2018 and would no doubt have voted against the u-turn today.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      No doubt they wouldn’t have voted against the U-Turn.

    • miami.mode
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      RM. Let’s hope he can persuade his fellow football associates to give all help possible in resolving the tax investigations currently being undertaken by HMRC.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      It costs very little to feed a child well if you plan and prepare the food yourself.

      If these families can not afford to feed their children what are they spending their money on?

      Universal credit pays out large sums for families in work (and not in work it is a family targeted benefit) so these people probably have more disposable income than the rest of us.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      RichardM anyone on Universal Credit had already received an extra £1000 from April 2020. Some lower-paid workers I know are working out they’re better off on benefits if this free this and that all continues and are thinking about asking for part-time hours when things re-open. Lower paid working couples are the ones paying all the bills for these giveaways, there is only so much the footballer’s tax pays for. I know couples that have split up the man back home with parents (but still see each other the allowed number of nights each week) Mum is much better off financially.

  3. John E
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    The Germans just made their coronavirus tracking app freely available for anyone to use as open-source code on GitHub.

    It seems to do a very good job of addressing privacy concerns.

    I suggest you tell the NHSX people to stop messing round and start using the German app instead.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

      Oh no, the NHS IT department won’t do that, they think they’ve got nothing to learn from Germany.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

        Tory voters think that they have nothing to learn from Germany.

        Just look at their choice of leader.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

          How is that comment relevant to the topic of today’s article or even related to Roy’s?
          We realise you hate Boris and all Conservatives Martin.
          You tell us several times a day.
          And before bill asks, where is your proof for claiming all Tory voters think they have nothing to learn from Germany?

        • Fred H
          Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

          I totally agree Martin – Merkel is a disgrace.

        • czerwonadupa
          Posted June 18, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

          We don’t need to learn how to start world wars thank you very much.. And as for leaders, this country chose one to lead them down the road to freedom not one who wants to dictate to the other countries what they should do & how to run their countries..

  4. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    This is good news. Sorry this is off topic, but one market town near me has all the traffic excluded from it because they Council are widening the pavements to accommodate 2m social distancing rules’. They started today – the day the shops opened!
    This is really like a French farce.

    • Richard
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Agenda 21 / Agenda 2030 is currently being hugely accelerated & rolled out around the UK. As per the WEF-UN framework agreement June 2019. This is a main reason for the shutdown.
      The Great Reset is all already mapped out on the WEF website and is coming next. As the Crisis-Problem-Solution for the global depression that they decided to create in January 2020.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink


      Typical Council thinking, we have similar in Wokingham, roads still open but the main one way system through the Town Centre reduced by 50% in capacity.

      Shop keepers dismayed !

    • Richard
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Good news. Lots of studies show vitamin C is also effective at calming thecytokine storm in serious cases.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    So if the UK is the first to a cure for CV19 will we still be the laughing stock of the World ?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      We are the laughing stock of Andy and MiC – or vice versa!

  6. forthurst
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    As a cytokine storm or the uncontrolled release of pro-inflammatory peptide molecules has been determined a causative factor in end-stage Covid-19 infection, then it’s not surprising an anti-inflammatory drug can help some patients more than drugs for treating malaria.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      However as Covid reduces the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen, just like malaria, then it’s not surprising anti-malaria drugs are being tested. See, we can all pretend to be medical experts just like you and bore people by offering up our worthless opinions.

  7. jerry
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    This is excellent news, but no magic bullet, let’s not loose sight that this drug is being used once the patient needs oxygen or mechanical ventilation (in other words they are already seriously incapacitated), we still need to find a drug that can (safely) be used post infection but before it becomes necessary to hospitalise.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      We need to wipe out the contagion Jerry, as countries like Taiwan and New Zealand have demonstrated is perfectly feasible – only to have their heroic efforts compromised, by countries whose governments did not rise to the challenge, such as the UK, however.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        Perhaps we should completely close down our borders.
        Would you support that move Martin?

      • jerry
        Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        @MiC; The countries you cite are about two (perhaps ever three) months ahead of the European outbreak.
        It was the New Zealand govt who allowed those two British people to fly, your criticisms of the UK govt are once again cheap and without foundation.

        You used to cite South Korea, funny that, your “perfect” country having a second, or is it their third, CV19 spike… As I said, the world needs ideally a vaccine or at least a pre-hospitalisation over the country treatment drug. The only way to eradicate smallpox was through effective post infection treatment and ultimately a worldwide program of vaccination. Isolationism won’t work, as a long term cure, even N.Korea has CV19.

        Tell me Martin, how are your feet, they must be rather sore from your continual ‘shooting from the hip’ whilst missing the target! 😆

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        John, the two ‘returning’ New Zealand travellers from the UK arrived 10 days ago, do we know what they were doing in the UK before they left? Were they hospital workers? Had they been on lockdown or were they keyworkers, where does our government think they contracted it? Could it have been on the aeroplane? If they had been keeping to the rules in the UK who did they catch it from, what area did they live in the people in this are who they came into contact with have they been tested?

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 17, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        I’m all for very secure borders and a sensible population level, Martin.

        You told us we couldn’t have them.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 18, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

          I have never commented on population level.

          I advocated exactly the same response to covid19 as New Zealand.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 18, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

            You have.
            You have told us your opinions on open borders and on immigration and on acceptance of refugees and given us your opinions on those that are smuggled into the UK in little boats.

            And you never called for a total closure of borders as New Zealand did.

      • mancunius
        Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        New Zealand’s director general of health stated that the virus may have been detected if the daily health checks in managed isolation had been done properly by the NZ official doing the daily checks, and that the women could have picked up the coronavirus in airports, or on their flights.
        Meanwhile, Cardiff is a hotspot for covid infection, with “the worst death rate in Wales at 124.5 deaths per 100,000 up to the end of May.”
        So you need to pull your socks up over there, take some social responsibility and and stop infecting the rest of us!

  8. agricola
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Lets hope that these early results are confirmed and it can help hold the line until a vaccine is found.

  9. acorn
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Did you know, researchers from Warwick University and the London School of Economics (LSE) analysed anonymised HMRC tax returns of higher earners and found that the average person with £10 million in total remuneration, had an effective tax rate of just 21 per cent.

    That was less than someone on median earnings of £30,000. And; a tenth of people receiving more than £1 million a year, paid a lower rate of tax than someone earning just £15,000 on PAYE.

    Redwoodians should be getting into IR35 thinking as soon as. Taking your income as capital gains and corporate dividends, can save you a fortune over simply declaring your income for basic income tax.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      Agree. Fortunately those dodging tax and (especially) National Insurance by taking income as dividends via personal service companies didn’t get any of the Covid support money – their wailing about this was a pleasure to hear.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      Yes I know a small company which did that with pretty low wages. It has meant they could not apply for the furlough payments.
      Instead of taking smart routes to bypass the law, we need the law to change so we can all comply.
      Taxes need to drop so MPs can once again learn the lesson that the lower they are the higher the receipts.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Is that just the percentage amount of income tax they paid?
      Did they have some of their remuneration in the form of dividends and capital gains where tax is also levied?
      It would be interesting to know the total amount of overall tax those you focus on pay.
      The top 1% of earners pay over a third of all income tax.
      Source Guardian Nov 19th 2019 on a report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

      • hefner
        Posted June 18, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        I am pretty sure that is a total 21% tax on whatever their total money input is.
        Anybody starting to fill a self-assessment form soon realises that when dealing with one’s tax return there are many better ways to be remunerated than having an income.
        Your argument of the 1% of earners paying over a third of all taxes does not really say a thing. They might still pay over a third of tax having remuneration ten (or more) times bigger than what they pay in taxes.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 18, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

          I dont agree.
          The amount of income tax paid by high earners is as I stated.
          Many high earners are entrepreneurs who own all or some of the shares in their business.
          The law allows them to declare a profit at the end of their financial year then they pay Corporation tax and then declare a dividend on shares held.
          The overall total tax paid by this choice is very little different to taking it all as income.
          Overall compared to

        • hefner
          Posted June 19, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

          acorn’s original point is total tax not income tax. I agree with you that income tax would be 20, 40 or 45% depending on the total income.
          But say I have a total remuneration package of £10m as income, on which I would pay £4.5m as income tax. Imagine now that thanks to my CFO and my tax adviser I can rearrange things a bit and have my remuneration distributed as coming from various sources.
          I only have, say, only £100k as an income on which I pay 40% tax, then £1m as dividends on which I pay tax at 38.1%, then £8.9m presented as capital gains on which I pay tax at 20%. My tax would £40k + 381k + 1,780k = £2,101k so a tax rate of 21%. And I have not considered the (peanut-ty) allowances I could possibly have applied, not the 10% tax rate on gains of up to £1m known as the ‘entrepreneurs’ relief’.
          I could also have put £200k in VCT allowing me to take 30% out of my final tax return, and £100k in SEIS with its 50% deduction, and if I feel very social £1m in SITR (social investment tax relief) with its 30% deduction.
          So acorn was right.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 20, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

            If you own your own company and it is profitable and you own some or all the shares in it then you can arrange you remuneration in the way I have mentioned.
            The point acorn and now you seem to miss is that the total amount of tax paid is similar.
            That is because you forget the effect of corporation taxes.
            Corporation tax plus income tax plus dividend tax comes to a very similar amount as income tax alone.
            The gap has been reduced by recent government budget changes.
            PS you dont pay 4.5 million on 10 million there are slices at different income levels.

    • jerry
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      @acorn; Or perhaps not, such ‘loopholes’ will surely be tied off in the next couple of budgets, if they are not the Tories will be out of power for a generation at the next GE. No hard left leader bogie man to flog, Brexit done and dusted as par how a 80 seat Tory majority wished etc etc.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      21% of £10 million is a lot of tax Acorn.

      I am more concerned about the marginal rates between £50K and £60K as Child benefit is withdrawn and between £100K and £125K as personal allowance is withdrawn.

      Then you have couples getting two personal allowances when a single earner of the same amount only gets one personal allowance. There are tax inequalities everywhere.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      I’d add, you pay dividends out of profits, the profits have corporation tax already taken from them, does the above calculation include the corporation tax paid through the company?
      Are you saying the total income derived by an individual is 21% or that the tax paid on the dividend income of the individual was 21% and just forgetting the corporation tax element? If there is a legitimate way to pay just 21% then everyone should have this ability.

  10. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Every little helps. 7-day rolling averages of COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to decline, but slowly.

    • bill brown
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Lindsay McDougall,

      this is great news but we will soon get to 45.000 unfortunately,, because we started too late, with teh lockdown, took too long to close the airspace and airports, did not have enough PPE, nor did we cover the care-homes.
      According to the OECD thre was only one country which performed worse than the UK of rich countries in the Covid crises and that was Belgium
      I really hope we learned something of our mistakes when the next wave comes in the Autumn, so we can safe more lives

      • Edward2
        Posted June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        We followed SAGE’s advice.
        Blame them.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 19, 2020 at 2:33 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          You are being short-sighted and uninformed again, this is not about a blame game . This is about learning what went wrong first time, take the learnings from it, so we do not have another 50.000 people dying.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 19, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

            So did the Government follow SAGE advice or not bill?

            When would you have locked down?
            Give us your expert hindsight advice.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 19, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          Your questions are not relevant anymore nor are they part of my argument. Whatever the government did they did it badly as well, as we now have written black on white, by a very respected research institution the OECD. (also read leader in the Economist this week)

          • Edward2
            Posted June 19, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

            That’s a good one bill.
            I asked a simple question.
            And you reply with…Its not relevant anymore…
            I willremember that one.

        • bill brown
          Posted June 19, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

          Edward 2

          the Economist talks about ordinary decent competence, which it does not believe the PM has shown in this crisis ad that has nothing to do with the scientists

          • Edward2
            Posted June 19, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

            I’m more interested in your arguments rather than the ones made by the increasingly left wing Economist which is losing lots of subscribers.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Indeed most encouraging. Let us hope the NHS can finally reduce the percentage of deaths (per positive infection) to German or even to Singaporean levels. But then nearly half of those who have died of Covid did not even make it to an NHS hospital or were even kicked out of one.

    Some more very good news – overall deaths in London (in the latest reported week) were below average for this week. As I said before when doctors go on strike and desist from their good works death rates (in the short term anyway) do tend to fall.

    As the dire Bercow used to say “unlock, unlock”.

    Businesses and government now have loads of new debt to repay. The sound ones will also have to pay back for those that do not repay (in more taxes). We can easily do this but we just need a bonfire of red tape, cheap reliable energy, no more green crap, no more duff degree in nonsense subjects and a far, far smaller largely parasitic state sector.

    Alas Boris Johnson on “equality” is beginning to sound like the dire Theresa May or the even more appalling David Lammy. Let us hope Lammy never ever gets close to the levers of power.

  12. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Dexamethasone is widely used for many inflammatory conditions where there is swelling and oedematous tissue. It is often a first line treatment for children attending A&E with croup.

  13. SM
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Before too many people go delirious with joy, may I remind them that every drug can (and most do) have side effects, and there has simply not been enough time both in the UK and globally for what would usually be considered reliable clinical trials for this specific usage.

  14. Polly
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    This is good news but it has to be remembered that steroids are immunosuppressive and so it was always reasonably expected that this drug would save some individuals whose lungs are failing because of an autoimmune response.

    Many doctors would have suggested this long ago if they had been freed from NHS restrictions and it is unfortunate that the requirements of the Oxford trials prevented this drug being tried on the wards as soon as this issue became apparent.


    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

      True . When a pathogen is present in any tissue and whilst the addition of a steroid sometime helps it can also be counterproductive as organisms are more likely to proliferate.

      • MyJRBlogComments
        Posted June 17, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        The hospitals could have run sweepstakes.

        Depending on the numbers drawn, a random cocktail of drugs, that might possibly have a random chance of working, would have been a good strategy, don’t you think?

    • BetterTimesAhead
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink


      Rather than conducting monitored and controlled scientific trials, the drug could just have been doshed out, willy-nilly, in hospitals. By doctors or nurses, who thought it might possibly help, but with no proof that it would.

      But that’s just not the way things work. Thankfully!

  15. Fred H
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Sir John do you know what is expected, and what is actually happening regarding testing of MPs and civil service staff at The House?
    Isn’t it about time it was done and enforced, not you choosing to find out where and how and going to do it?

  16. Fred H
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    new topic.
    from BBC website:-
    The number of workers on UK payrolls dived more than 600,000 between March and May, official figures suggest. Meanwhile, the number of people claiming work-related benefits – which includes the unemployed – was up 126% to 2.8 million. The early estimates reflect the impact of around six weeks of lockdown in which large parts of the UK were shut.
    But economists say the full effect on employment will not be felt until wage support schemes end in October.
    “The slowdown in the economy is now visibly hitting the labour market, especially in terms of hours worked,” said Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the Office for National Statistics (ONS).”
    Is Boris aware, or is it kept from him – just like the followingcampaign?
    About 1.3 million children in England will be able to claim free school meal vouchers during the holidays, after a campaign by footballer Marcus Rashford.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      Every single person Boris sees during the course of a day has a full-time job on full pay and has had throughout the crisis and has no risk at all of losing that job. The unemployment figures are just numbers to him.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Universal Credit – for those who are unemployed or on low incomes – was given a special rise of £1,000 a year (around £80 a month) on top of the April increase in line with inflation after the benefit freeze ended.

      Pretty soon lots more people will realise they’re better off working fewer hours permanently or not at all and then we’ll all be in trouble, not just the pensioners getting threatened at the moment that the triple lock will be broken!

  17. Thomas E
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    It works out at $70 per life saved. Good value for money

  18. oldtimer
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    That discovery is good news at a time when good news is in short supply.

  19. David_Kent
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    It’s a good thing Sir John was there to bring these efforts to continue to integrate us with the the EU to the attention of Parliament and the wider world.
    Who exactly was responsible for drafting this regulation?

  20. BetterTimesAhead
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    It’s about time this Government appointed a Rebuttals and Attack unit, to defend itself from the MSM, Labour and the other usual suspects with their fantastic 20/20 hindsight skills.

    Especially, put an end to the nonsense about an earlier national lockdown.

    Those claiming that, have all the political nous of a scientist living inside a pipette.

    Of course! National lockdown of 67,000,000 people, one or two weeks earlier:-

    16 March 2020 -When there were 1543 cases and 65 deaths???
    9 March 2020 – When there were 321 cases and 3 deaths???

    What a naive (and politically charged) belief, that earlier national lockdown would have been acceptable!

    An earlier lockdown would have been laughed away and it would not have been politically acceptable. The Government and scientists said that at the time. Only lockdown when the Nation would buy into a lockdown and the time was right. They did exactly that.

    There are areas of criticism over the handling of CV, by the Government (e.g. inbound flights?), the NHS, and Care Homes etc. Time enough for an Enquiry, later.

    But, an earlier national lockdown is just a standing joke, not a “Gotcha moment”.
    Boris must flatten it, in true “sombrero” style.

    • bill brown
      Posted June 19, 2020 at 2:39 am | Permalink


      I think part of your contribution is a misunderstanding. This is not the time for rebuttals or an attach unit. Certain things went wrong during CV, which we have to learn from, when the second wave comes during the Autumn and Winter, so we are not going to have another 50.000, deaths, the rest of your argument serves no real purpose for the future challenges.

  21. ed2
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    a drug that protects from ventilators or cv19?

  22. bill brown
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    On another note the UK was voted second worst of 21 OECD nations in its tackling of the Corona virus , only Belgium response was considered worse

  23. ed2
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Only works to help prevent ventilators’ damage?

  24. ed2
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Has no effect on Covid 19, read carefully. Very misleading.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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