A team of UK experts said they have found another life-saving drug that can help treat Covid positive people.
The anti-inflammatory baricitinib is normally used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Trials suggest it can cut death risk by about a fifth in patients needing hospital care for severe Covid, the BBC reported.
It could be used with other Covid treatments, such as the cheap steroid dexamethasone, to save even more lives, researchers say. That might halve deaths, they added.
The NHS may soon recommend baricitinib based on these new results. A 10-day course of the pills costs around 250 pound, although the NHS may be able to negotiate a discount.
“A big thank you to all of the researchers, doctors and volunteers involved in this work,” Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid was quoted as saying.
“Our medical and scientific experts will now consider the results before any decisions are made on next steps,” Javid added.
Although vaccines have been doing a great job at cutting infections and protecting lives, some people will still catch and become very sick due to Covid.
And the recovery trial has been testing existing medications on Covid patients to see if they help.
It has already identified dexamethasone, tocilizumab and a treatment called Ronapreve – discoveries that have changed clinical practice worldwide and been credited with saving hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives, experts say.
And now it appears some very ill Covid patients, including those on ventilators, fare much better if they receive baricitinib.
The benefit was on top of other proven life-saving Covid drugs.