The breakthough medicines that could change the course of Covid

Dexamethasone demonstrates power of large-scale, randomised trials in finding effective medicines

It remains one of the most dramatically successful outcomes in the battle against Covid-19. A cheap treatment for inflammation was found to save lives of seriously ill patients while a trio of much-touted therapies were shown to have no effect.

It is now estimated that the discovery of the effectiveness of the drug dexamethasone has saved around 650,000 lives across the world, according to Professor Martin Landray, a founder of the Recovery programme – the world’s largest randomised Covid-19 drugs trial – which revealed the medicine’s anti-Covid properties last summer. “In the UK alone, dexamethasone has already prevented more than 12,000 deaths,” he told the Observer.

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