It was good to hear the Secretary of State for Health on Friday say a bit more about treatments, and express some optimism that this year should see approval for treatments for CV 19 which make it much less likely someone will die or have a bad version of the disease. The UK is currently conducting 96 trials of drugs and 9 trials of other vaccines. Worldwide there are reported trials of 700 drugs that may help with treating CV 19, with a total of 2607 clinical trials running for the drugs and vaccines. The USA alone is currently organising 555 clinical trials for CV 19 treatments and vaccines.
I have been long advocating the UK puts resource into these important efforts. Without medical training, I do not know which if any of these possible treatments can do good. It must be worth trialling them to find out.
So far the UK has approved dexamethasone, remdesivir and tocilizumab as options for doctors to prescribe where they think they are appropriate. There are a number of other treatments used elsewhere, and we await progress with further trials here for those. There have been strong arguments over Vitamin D, hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin in particular, with disagreements about the conditions for some past trials and strong views of whether these might be effective or not. All possible medical options should be fairly and promptly assessed. I hope the government’s new enthusiasm to share some more information and to express some optimism is a good sign that the medics do now feel treatments from adapted existing drugs and from new drugs can make an important contribution to lessening the suffering from this disease. I will follow up with some more questions to the government.