Coronavirus (COVID-19)—arthritis drug tocilizumab to be given to patients

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—arthritis drug tocilizumab to be given to patients

The Department for Health and Social Care has announced that thousands of NHS patients who are hospitalised with coronavirus (COVID-19) are to receive tocilizumab, after clinical trials showed it reduces the risk of death by 14% when used by patients on oxygen and already taking dexamethasone. Tocilizumab is an anti-inflammatory monoclonal antibody that is traditionally used for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Updated guidance recommending the use of the drug will be sent to NHS trusts and clinicians on Monday.

Speaking about the development, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said: ‘these results present another important advance in our fight against COVID-19 and are good news for patients and clinicians around the world – it’s a combination of both effective therapeutics and vaccines that will mean an end to this pandemic. The data published today mean many more patients in hospital with COVID-19 will have access to a proven treatment, speeding up their recovery and reducing the risk of mortality significantly.’

Source: Thousands more NHS patients to get life-saving COVID-19 treatment

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